Volunteers of all ages | SteamboatToday.com

Volunteers of all ages

Day of Caring brings out more than 220 volunteers

Bob Kuusinen cleans windows at the Tread of Pioneers Museum on Wednesday morning during Routt County United Way's annual Day of Caring.
John F. Russell

— Wednesday’s 11th annual Day of Caring brought people from all walks of life together.

Republicans and Democrats. Students and seniors. Bankers and carpenters. You name it, and the Routt County United Way’s celebration had it. More than 220 volunteers tackled tasks on behalf of nonprofit organizations throughout the county.

“It’s an opportunity for community members of all ages and backgrounds to interact, come together and have fun at the same time,” United Way board member Roberta Gill said.

Some of the projects completed included students from several schools cleaning up trails, assisting seniors and doing yard work for Horizons Specialized Services.

“I enjoy helping people,” said 11-year-old Jim Vanderbeek, who was one of several fifth-graders from Lowell Whiteman Primary School digging up dandelions at a Horizons house. “I enjoy helping and especially with something like this. You get to hang out with friends and help people out.”

Others helped local agencies do some spring cleaning before the rush of summer tourists hits the Yampa Valley.

The First National Bank of Steamboat Springs brought seven employees to help clean everything from windows and ledges to artifacts and baseboard at the Tread of Pioneers Museum.

“It’s a good thing to do,” said Bob Kuusinen, vice president of commercial lending for the bank. “United Way is great and we’re sure happy to help support it and the other nonprofits.”

United Way Executive Director Mark Andersen said while most of the effects of the Day of Caring are obvious, a lot of time and commitment goes unseen.

“Some of the stuff people don’t see,” Andersen said, referring to the luncheon sponsored by Ski Town Lions Club at the Community Center. “Plus, a lot of businesses give time off with pay. This is volunteer- and business-friendly. The main thing has been that we’ve had a lot of people in the community helping.”

United Way supports about 40 health and human service agencies in the county but benefits almost every resident. Last year, Routt County United Way exceeded its fundraising campaign goal of $550,000 by more than $5,000.

Gill said Wednesday’s Day of Caring was just one example of what Routt County United Way is about.

“Everybody helped, everybody worked and everybody left with a smile,” she said. “If you can provide that for a community, what a great thing.”

– To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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