Every September there is a nationwide United Way Day of Caring. I first experienced this event when my husband worked for a nonprofit in Seattle.
Lopez events have involved: a garden/common area clean-up at Lopez Children’s Center; public areas of downtown Lopez Village; vegetable gardens at Lopez School; LOHO (planting daffodils in the pouring rain) and helping senior citizens.
September 2011 volunteers were given the choice of working on gardens at the LOHO Project for Seniors or going to seniors’ homes somewhere on our island. My husband and I chose a site visit and had a wonderful time — and provided much-needed physical labor trimming a pine hedge that the homeowners could no longer maintain.
Not only did we benefit from our day of service, but we made new friends in the process. Working along the street on a beautiful, sunny day we encountered lots of people out walking, biking, driving — and they were curious about what we were doing. I think a lot of people haven’t heard of this national day of service that benefits the families that United Way serves.
The Lopez Children’s Center has been open since 2003. Although the Lopez Cooperative Preschool has been around for over 30 years, there was not a child care component to take care of children too young to attend preschool. The Lopez Children’s Center was formed, land provided, funds raised, and a beautiful building constructed to take care of children in the Lopez Community, ages 2 through 6.
Our demographics are constantly changing; some years we have only a handful of children and other years we are bursting at the seams! Jane Hobbs, director, is always putting the puzzle pieces together to make the student-teacher ratios balance, ensuring that all families are served.
United Way has been there for us providing grant and scholarship money to help with our budgetary shortfalls. We are grateful to have the continuing support of this valuable service organization. The United Way’s Day of Caring 2012 is scheduled for Saturday, September 8. Join the fun!