Everything we do is about change. Fundraising is to support change. Volunteering is about creating change.
Throughout the month of October, companies and organizations from all over Polk, Highlands, and Hardee County participated in United Way's Days of Caring, a time for companies to send their employees into the community to create positive change. The concept was originally confined to a single day in October, but this year it was extended to accommodate the participating employers. There were multiple projects for companies to choose from, varying from a single day to a longer term commitment to advancing the common good.
These volunteers are supporting programs that improve lives and strengthen our community every day. In 2011/12, the United Way and its 109 partner programs helped 20,882 children to succeed in school, 3,042 families to find and maintain financial stability, and improved the health of 20,483 patients.
United Way is committed to shaping corporate volunteer interests toward projects that can change our community. Because of this commitment, ReadingPals was a focus project of 2012’s Days of Caring. This new program is charged with improving the language and reading skills of at-risk children in six Polk County schools. Forty percent of our children start school not ready to succeed. Through ReadingPals, United Way of Central Florida and a group of volunteers is changing that.
Pictured is Mosaic’s Rick Tillis, chair of this year’s Days of Caring. Mosaic built book shelves to hold the stock of ReadingPals books that volunteers will read to students during the school year. The shelves will be helping us house and organize thousands books!
Seven companies recruited ReadingPals teams for their Days of Caring project. These volunteers, along with other dedicated individuals, will provide over 100 ReadingPals volunteers, reading to children in 10 schools for 1 hour every week during the school year. Our goal is for 525 Polk County children to be stimulated with 60 hours of reading and 30 different books, helping ensure more children will be reading at grade level by third grade. Standardized reading scores will be tracked to verify that these tutoring sessions are making a measurable difference.
United Way of Central Florida celebrates the seven companies who provided ReadingPals volunteers as a part of their Days of Caring. They are joining the many individuals and organizations who have already volunteered to change our community for the better. More volunteers are always needed. Join us in creating change! Volunteer today or recruit someone you know to be a ReadingPal.
To learn more about ReadingPals, contact Hope Bogel at 863-648-1500 x 278 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about other volunteer opportunities, visit www.uwcf.org and look for our Community Calendar.
Mar 12/18 - Mar 29/18 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM Build United- Register a Team Today!
Apr 03/18 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM Tocqueville Tuesdays - Bonnet Springs Park
Apr 05/18 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM Story Book Adventures Pajama Party with Elephant and Piggie
Apr 19/18 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM Infant Massage at Family Fundamentals
Apr 19/18 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM Board of Directors Meetings