FIRST EVER NEW HAVEN DAY OF CARING A SUCCESS

“I think the projects are terrific, but it's more than just raking leaves and painting, it's really about the power of what's possible when we come together to make a difference,” said Jennifer Heath, President and CEO.

Despite the cooler temperatures and morning rain, hundreds of hearty volunteers banded together to beautify parks and neighborhoods across seven different sites in New Haven this past Saturday, October 13, 2018.

United Way of Greater New Haven mobilized the volunteers of all ages for the first ever New Haven Day of Caring, coinciding with the start of the annual United Way fundraising campaign. Volunteers tackled general clean-up and beautification, trash pick-up, raking leaves, weeding, planting, painting and more.

“I think the projects are terrific, but it’s more than just raking leaves and painting, it’s really about the power of what’s possible when we come together to make a difference,” said Jennifer Heath, President and CEO of United Way of Greater New Haven.

Volunteers got their start at 9 o’clock Saturday morning at East Rock Park. Then throughout the late morning and early afternoon different projects got underway at parks across the city including Criscuolo Park, DeGale Field, East Shore Park, Edgewood Park, and Lighthouse Point Park. The day of service wrapped up at Peat Meadow Park around 3 in the afternoon.

Some of the highlights included clearing out sand and weeds from a parking lot at Lighthouse Park, so city crews could paint traffic and parking lines, pulling trash—as big as tires and chairs—from the trees around East Shore Park, and seeing volunteers as young as three years old roll up their sleeves alongside their parents for painting projects inside when it was raining outside. By the afternoon the sun peaked out, and volunteers reflected on a day well spent.

“Many urban communities around New Haven are dilapidated and have many trash pieces and garbage around, everybody is making it a better place to be used recreationally and for other events ,“ said New Haven Day of Caring volunteer William Sapp.

Paul Crnkovic, with New Haven Parks, Recreation, and Trees said, “It was very inspirational to see people giving back and cleaning up the community, it made me feel good today.”

“I like to get involved, this is where I live around here, I got a group of staff and we are here,” said volunteer Josie Vazquez at the East Shore Park site.

Projects like this help show their value in the community, noting that their organization can accomplish things that no one person or organization could do on their own. The work Saturday will positively impact these neighborhoods, the people living nearby, and all of the volunteers who gave their time.

This city-wide event was a partnership between United Way of Greater New Haven, New Haven Parks and Recreation, Yale University, Yale New Haven Health, and Dwight Hall, and all of these organizations were well represented among the volunteers.

See photos here.

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