Over 1,000 volunteer for Day of Caring

Volunteers painting benches cary their gear to the next job. Photo: Joe Huisinga CBS2/FOX28.

More than a thousand volunteers turned out in Cedar Rapids on Thursday for the United Way of East Central Iowa's Day of Caring.

Their work list that includes everything from painting downtown benches to picking up litter by Cedar lake Day of Caring gets volunteers out of the office and into the community.

"No matter what organization volunteers are working with today they're going to feel good about the work they do but they're going to walk away with a better awareness of the needs and the work that's done every other day," says Casey Prince, Downtown Director at the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance.

According to Sue Driscoll, Volunteer Engagement Manager at United Way of East Central Iowa 1,260 volunteers registered to help out with more than 100 projects.

"For us it means letting the community get hands-on with painting benches, helping clean off graffiti, helping us pick up trash, plantings, you name it," says Prince.

Some tasks may seem monotonous; Doug White, a volunteer from Ryan Companies Midwest was working with with a team painting downtown benches.

"We're looking for any spots that are rusty and stickers or scrapes just trying to touch them all up," says White.

people involved feel that no matter the job everything has a positive impact.

"When you can tell city is loved and taken care of you can't help but have a heightened sense of interest and care for that city yourself," says Prince.

Even with workers outside the workplace, employers see it as time well spent.

"They want their employees to get out, understand more about the community and become engaged," says Driscoll.

The work is also about building better relationships.

"Have some fun work side-by-side with their coworkers it's great team building," she adds.

The United Way says this is not just one day of helping out, they hope to inspire a continuing habit of volunteering.

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