This week, Sojourner Truth Ministries was bustling with volunteers from the United Way’s Day of Action putting up drywall, painting walls, and more.
Other volunteers were performing yard maintenance and renovating the outside of the Family Promise facility on Hepburn. Others volunteered at the YWCA Northcentral PA.
The annual statewide event brings community people together to volunteer to better others’ lives.
“This is a national day where United Ways across the country are getting together with community members-business partners-to come out and give back to the community here,” said Betsy Reichenbach, Administrative Manager for Lycoming County United Way (LCUW).
“We also help some of our smaller nonprofit partners do the little things that they may not be able to afford or they don’t have the staff to do,” she added.
Volunteers serve lunch and provide law care.
Reichenbach said, “It’s a really nice way to give back as the United Way and it’s also a great way for these businesses and other community members to learn more about these smaller nonprofits.
“Most volunteers who came into Sojourner today had no idea what they did. “They probably heard their name here and there, but didn’t realize the impact they’re making on our community,” she added.
UPMC, PPL, the Pennsylvania College of Technology, Lycoming College, Susquehanna Health Foundation, Aspire Wealth Group, Hampton Inn Williamsport Downtown, the Lycoming-Clinton Joinder Board, and C&N Bank all served at Sojourner Truth. 40 persons volunteered.
“We asked our partners, Do you have a need and what does it look like? Reichenbach stated, “For slightly bigger nonprofits, there’s less of a need, but for a small nonprofit like Sojourner, there’s so much we can do and make such a huge impact.”
PPL workers volunteer often.
“We will send volunteers out as much as we can,” said PPL Harrisburg/Lancaster regional relations director Maggie Sheely.
“We love helping our communities. “It’s great to get our workers out into the community to see beyond lines and poles,” she added.
Sheely was painting the sanctuary at Sojourners as her coworkers put up drywall in the building and the house down the street that Sojourner plans to utilize for apartments. Ten PPL employees volunteered.
Employees help NGOs via the United Way as a company partner.
Firms should visit groups they finance but don’t participate in.
“It’s easy to drive by and say we gave this organization a grant or sponsorship in the past. “If you don’t get inside and work with the employees, you don’t really know the true scope of the work,” she added.
Companies should handle this task since these groups do all the meaningful work. They lack time and people to paint or maintain. So organizations like PPL with the manpower and womanpower to execute such things are crucial.
Contributing when they can is rewarding. “Everyone’s always glad they came out to help out and learn more about an organization,” she added.
Rev. C. Angelique Labadie-Cihanowyz, executive director of Sojourner, thanked the volunteers for serving more than 2,500 meals last month.
Labadie-Cihanowyz thanked the community and United Way program sponsors.
“Some of our list items that I thought would take all day were done in two hours and moved on to other things. “Wonderful,” she remarked.
Many tasks in this organization require a blitz of volunteers. We’re usually short-staffed. She continued, “This has been a shot in the arm.”