September is one of my favorite months at Crittenton Centers. For all of the reasons you might expect like cooler fall temperatures, the “back to school” feel that permeates the Child Development Center, and the bustle surrounding preparation for our holiday events. But, there is one annual event in September that really gets me excited and gives me the “feels” -- Day of Caring!!
What is Day of Caring, you ask? Well, the name really captures the essence of the event. The Day of Caring is an annual event hosted by the Heart of Illinois United Way. Hundreds of volunteers from the for-profit sector, flood the streets of Peoria to make a difference, to share their time and talents, and show United Way Agencies that they care! It is such a special day and one I look forward to every year.
This year’s Day of Caring did not disappoint. We had over 30 volunteers here from CAT and PNC who came prepared to roll their sleeves up and get dirty. The CAT volunteers even brought in the heavy machinery necessary to do some much needed landscaping and yard maintenance. You see, we strive to be an oasis in our neighborhood and community. We want to demonstrate our Agency values of respect and integrity by properly maintaining our property and the beautiful building we have been entrusted with. This is so challenging with a maintenance department of one, so that is why the groups that volunteer to do this work are so special to us. We value tremendously their willingness to sacrifice their time to help us, and show how much they care. And, let’s just say, they had some fun along the way!
We had a second group from PNC who volunteered their time to work with children in the classrooms. The children really are the heartbeat of Crittenton Centers’ mission and work, so volunteers taking time to care for them really gets us excited. The children listened to the reading of a story and then created cards for children who are at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois. This gave the children the chance to give back in their own way and encourage other children who are struggling.
You see why I get so excited for Day of Caring? It really brings everything together and completes the circle of community. Volunteers helping non-profit organizations, non-profit organizations helping children and families, and children giving back to help other children! Wow...what a circle to be a part of.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes an entire community of caring partners to support an organization like ours. We really can’t say enough how grateful we are for every single one of you who supports our work in some way. Your caring is appreciated and your impact is immeasurable!
Vice President & COO
“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” Ronald Reagan