Friday was a day of caring for 1,270 people across Pierce County.
They did landscaping, painted, spruced up buildings, restocked food banks and served hot meals for nonprofit organizations as part of the United Way’s annual event.
The Day of Caring is meant to bring people together, said Veronica Larson, a campaign relationship manager for United Way.
“We want to make a bigger impact with the collective ‘we’ and stimulate volunteer interest,” she said.
At HopeSparks Family Services in Tacoma, six volunteers gathered to paint a children’s waiting area and build a puppet theater. The theater will be used as a form of play therapy for kids who have experienced trauma. The children hide behind the theater’s curtains and use puppets to tell counselors what happened to them.
Harland Clarke, a Milton business that prints financial documents, returned to HopeSparks for their second year of volunteering there.
George Hart, 44, was in charge of sewing curtains for the theater. He said his task combined two loves – helping children and sewing.
“I really like to sew,” Hart said. “I can do it, I think I do it pretty well, and to do it for this cause is really exciting to me.”
Harland Clarke emphasizes giving back to the community year-round and employees revel in the chance to help those in need, said Brandy Sandana, who heads its volunteer team. The company does service projects, collects goods for those in need and does fundraisers for United way of Pierce County.
On Friday, volunteers split into two groups. Some painted the waiting room a soothing beige while others worked to build and paint the puppet theater.
Nicol Walsh, marketing director for HopeSparks, said she couldn’t be happier with the help her organization received.
“These projects may look little, but they have a great impact on the children and families we serve,” she said.