2019 Commerce Magazine Book_Cmmrc_PROOF1 - Page 9

Caring for the Community E very year, the community of Payne County The Day of Caring eff orts are focused on the year and show the impact the day has on comes together to volunteer and serve 21 nonprofi t partnering agencies of Payne the community. others in their community. This day has County’s United Way and their clients. Still- transformed local nonprofi ts and individ- water Police Captain Kyle Gibbs, has been This day also unites others in the community uals’ lives in Stillwater and throughout Payne in charge of coordinating the Day of Caring County, making it a day everyone looks for- projects for over 10 years. Each year, he sends ward to. request lists to the agencies and Stillwater The United Way’s Day of Caring began in Mobile Meals clients to gain an idea of the Stillwater in 1996 after Jerry Moeller, the 16 past CEO of Stillwater Medical Center, had been involved in another community’s Day services they need. A team then evaluates the projects so they can place volunteers with the correct skill sets at the right locations. small staff s and extremely low budgets,” said munity and set up the committee that year. Sheri Carter, Executive Director of the United Since then, Stillwater’s Day of Caring has Way of Payne County. “So this day has a huge increased in number every year. impact on agencies because it saves them Moeller is a direct infl uence on SMC’s still money, which in return gives them more being the No. 1 funder for the event. SMC money to go toward services.” provides the funds for all the materials to The Mobile Meals clients are especially accomplish the tasks at hand for the day. impacted through the Day of Caring. Mobile Other donors help with T-shirts, food and Meals is a daily service that delivers hot smaller-but-essential materials. meals to seniors in the Stillwater community. In 2018, the United Way of Payne County cel- Without Stillwater’s Day of Caring, many of ebrated its 22nd annual Day of Caring with a record-setting number of 700 volunteers working on 150 projects. Projects range from painting, building an ADA-accessible ramp, electrical work to plumbing. these seniors would not be able to accomplish needed house work. Carter said her staff and Board of Directors love passing around the thank-you notes these clients write. They help provide motivation for the rest of the build relationships within their work place. “This day is important to not just the people who are receiving the services but also to those who enjoy doing it,” Carter said. “I remember my fi rst year going out and seeing the hospital CEO washing windows at a Mobile Meals client’s house with his night custodian who he had never had a conver- sation with before that day.” Day of Caring also off ers a chance for people in the community to see the necessary role nonprofi ts play in Payne County. These agen- cies off er many services that the community might not be aware of, and this day builds awareness of the nonprofi t itself, what they do every day and how important confi denti- ality is to them. “The service in the community on this day makes you see an impact,” Carter said. “It reminds people in the community that they are cared about and have not been forgotten and that they matter.” BY K A MIK A R AL STIN “So this day has a huge impact on agencies because it saves them money, which in return gives them more money to go toward services.” — SHERI CARTER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED WAY OF PAYNE COUNTY 17 of Caring. He believed Stillwater could ben- “Many of our partner agencies have extremely efi t from the Day of Caring like his last com- through volunteering. Most of the volunteers are businesses, and they use this event to