KINGSPORT – The 2016 United Way of Greater Kingsport (UWGK) 24th Annual Week of Caring ran from June 20 – 24 2016. Over 1,000 volunteers completed 126 projects throughout the region for 28 member agencies, two schools, and two area nonprofits. The financial impact of this year’s Week of Caring was an astounding $146,306.60 for a cumulative 6,210 hours of work.
The week kicked off on June 20th, with the traditional Regional Project, which was co-sponsored this year by United Way of Bristol and Regions Bank. The Regional Project rotates between several local United Ways (United Way of Bristol, United Way of Washington County TN, United Way of Southwest VA, United Way of Elizabethton and United Way of Greater Kingsport) each year. Regions Bank has served as the sponsor of the Regional Project since its inception in 1992, helping numerous local health and human service agencies and communities. Regions Bank, local United Ways, and volunteers from companies and organizations came together to improve the lives of program participants of the Bristol Regional Counseling center (a division of Frontier Health). As a collective group, the volunteers assisted the Regional Counseling Center with cleaning, painting, landscaping, and several other projects.
“Regions Bank is pleased to announce its 24th annual partnership with United Way for the Week of Caring campaign,” said Kristan Ginnings, Regions’ Vice President of Business Services and Week of Caring Steering Committee Coordinator. “It is through our continued support and funding of events such as the Week of Caring that we are fulfilling our promise to our customers, our associates, and our community.”
The remainder of the week was filled with 124 service projects involving over 1,000 volunteers. Local companies and
organizations (Eastman, Domtar, Brock, Appalachian Power, Eastman Credit Union, Bank of Tennessee, Tri-Summit
Bank, PEAK, Brown Edwards, Trane, Rodefer Moss, Wellmont, Indian Path Medical Center, Kingsport Chamber of
Commerce, Kingsport Waste Water) provided light construction and maintenance services, landscaping, painting, and several other projects, including interactive events for youth.
Examples of projects include: a Domtar team working to paint, clean, and garden at CASA for Kids, teams from Brock and Wellmont filling food boxes at Second Harvest Food Bank, a Brown Edwards team doing landscaping at Hope House, Appalachian Power and Wellmont teams painting the Holly Hills Learning Center, a Rodefer Moss team painting the Dogwood and Cloud apartment playgrounds, a PEAK team cleaning the Family Promise Center, an Indian Path Medical Center team holding a volunteer picnic for Contact Concern, an Eastman Credit Union team cleaning and beautifying the Holston Counseling Center, a Tri-Summit team painting Indian Springs elementary, a Kingsport Chamber of Commerce team painting Miller Perry Elementary, a Bank of Tennessee team assembling Meals on Wheels bags, a Trane team cleaning Mountain Regions Speech and Hearing Center, and Eastman teams across the area at American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Club, Children’s Advocacy Center, Contact Concern, Frontier Industries, Girls Inc., Hay House, Holston Children and Youth, Holston Counseling, Hope House, Indian Springs, Link House, Literacy Council, Meals on Wheels, Safe House, Salvation Army, Shepherd Center, and Small Miracles. These are just a few of the many different projects that took place over the course of one week.
“The thing that always sticks out to me is attitude of the people working on these projects. No matter how hot or how dirty or how difficult the work is, they are always smiling and having a good time,” said Ken Walker, who has coordinated Week of Caring for over a decade. “We are very blessed to live and work in the Tri-Cities. We have people who are willing to get out and do things for the good of community and we have companies that will allow them the time away from work to do that.”
“Week of Caring exemplified what it means to drive and inspire community change,” said Becca Sutphen, UWGK Community Impact Director. “It is truly gratifying to see our community come together for 24 years running to donate their time and efforts to helping our nonprofit agencies with projects that would otherwise be difficult to impossible to complete. We are thankful to all the businesses and organizations who worked together to make this week a terrific example of the power of volunteerism.”