The second week of September is always an exciting time at United Way. It’s the week that we officially kick off our campaign, the start of workplace BBQ’s, Loaned Representatives are up and running and last but not least, our Engineering Challenge Day of Caring occurs.
The Engineering Challenge is a collaboration of the engineering sector that aims to strengthen communities across the Capital Region. Engineers challenge each other in their United Way participation and recognize individual and collective efforts.
After months and months of planning, Terra’s Braemar School and Connect’s Society’s new outdoor space will be swarming with Engineers in green shirts and white hard hats. At Braemar School the volunteers will enhance the outdoor play space for the kids by doubling its current size to include an open green space, a perennial garden and a number of raised bed gardens for staff, children and parents to plant vegetables. They will build arbors, log benches and help create a natural outdoor environment.
The volunteers at Connect Society will work outdoors resurfacing a portion of their yard with thick rubber tiles so that the kids can ride their bikes and play games on a softer surface. Planter boxes will be built so that staff and clients can grow small gardens and benches will be assembled for outdoor events and staff gatherings.
The best part about the challenge is that it brings together 15 companies, 100 volunteers and United Way member agencies for a full day of community collaboration. Participating companies divide the cost of supplies, provide volunteers and Cord donates the use of their tools. Volunteers work side by side and rely on each other for support and encouragement and at the end of the day they can take a step back and see the results of their hard work.
Last year the Engineers built a fence at Howard House and the Youth Emergency Shelter’s Armoury. Every time I drive by those locations I can still picture the volunteers busily working around the yards, building fences, building friendships and building communities.
I wish all of this years UNITEENGINEERS volunteers an incredible time and thank each of you for your hard work and commitment to your community. Please let us know how your day goes and share your stories.