HARVIN COLUMN: Volunteer: Save the red wolves, build and obstacle course or clothe a child
Imagine helping the red wolf survive. Or creating an animal olympics trail out in the woods. Or how about starting a school clothes closet so families in need can send their kids to class properly dressed. Or imagine that your child is desperately ill and you need to use the Ronald McDonald House as a place to live while doctors figure out how to help him.
All of these are related to projects with the Day of Caring on Sept. 7, coordinated by Trident United Way. If you want to participate, itís time to get a team of people together and sign up. If you have a project that needs to be done, itís time to sign up for that, too.
For instance, Charles Towne Landing is creating a red wolf habitat as part of the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan. The wolves had been declared extinct in the wild, but are being reintroduced in various areas.
While plans have been drawn up for the habitat, the Landing needs people to help clear the underbrush from the site because the next thing that needs to be done is an archaeological dig to see what historical remnants might be in the area.
After all, this is the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Carolina province (1670), and you canít just go digging around with a backhoe.
Animal olympics? This isnít a competitive course for your dog. This is a trail that challenges visitors to use the skills of animals to get through an obstacle course. Can you leap like a frog, wriggle like a snake or run like a deer? Well, a team will help install the obstacles at the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center.
They need volunteers to dig holes for equipment to be set into the ground. Volunteers will help lift and move equipment to the installation area and a few will help shore up part of the boardwalk.
Over at Midland Park Primary, the need is for a clothes collection so the school can create a clothes closet for students who donít have the means to have appropriate clothing for school.
At the Ronald McDonald House, it serves families who have sick children and are miles from home.
Families may eat and live there for weeks at a time while a child is treated at a local hospital. The 27 rooms need some sprucing up, so volunteers will be reupholstering headboards on the Day of Caring.
All of these types of projects need teams of volunteers so the work can get done efficiently. There are several park volunteer projects for those who just want to take the day to volunteer on their own.
While Day of Caring is just one day, it is a great way for your company, neighborhood or faith-based group to bond while helping others. And TUW is still matching teams with nonprofits who need some work done.
The Day of Caring so far has about 6,000 volunteers signed up this year and the community effort is a proven success. But there are so many needs in our community that havenít been touched.
With funding cuts everywhere, agencies and schools need the help more than ever.
The Day of Caring is a great way to dip your toe into volunteering, and an even better way to identify needs that occur all year long so that your group or company can be involved on a regular basis.
After all, volunteering isnít just something that is done for one day. It becomes a habit because itís just so darn fun to help others.
To find out more about Trident United Wayís Day of Caring, go to www.tuw.org/LiveUnited.
Reach Stephanie Harvin at 937-5557 or email@example.com.