United Way of the Quad Cities Area is breaking a record.
On Wednesday, August 20th, 2014, 2,600 volunteers participated in the organization's 10th Annual Day of Caring, which is a record number of volunteers for a day dedicated to giving back to the community.
In a matter of hours, organizers say up to 200 projects are completed. The projects include reading books to school children, distributing food to the hungry, and cleaning up spots around the area.
On the corner of 5th Avenue and 7th Street in Moline, a group of seven John Deere employees are trading their work clothes for work gloves to trim back weeds and landscape around a big sign welcoming people into the city's Floreciente Neighborhood.
"I drive by here probably several times a week and it's something you see and you think - oh that kind of looks like it could need some work - but it's really neat to be able to actually do that and then see the results," said Laura Sivertsen, who is participating in her 3rd Day of Caring.
"Normally we're pretty much in the office, in meetings, talking with our group," Sivertsen explained. "This is definitely out of our norm, but it's an awesome opportunity. We really wanted to do something like this - helping a neighborhood clean up and improving the look of the community."
"Since my role's global, I'm on the phone and computer all day long, so it's neat to see some folks in person and work together on a project that you see immediate results for," added Andrea Dufner, who is participating in her 1st Day of Caring.
Sivertsen and Dufner are just two of the hundreds of people who take a day "off" work for the event. Organizers say the Day of Caring is the single largest volunteer project in our area.
"It's indicative of the generosity of the Quad City community in terms of both giving dollars, but also in giving time and that's what today is all about," said the President of United Way of the Quad Cities Area, Scott Crane.
"It's important that we help out all the areas in the community," he added. "I think it's also an opportunity for folks in the business commnity to get in some neighborhoods that they might not normally get in and help out a little bit and see where there might be some needs and opportunities to give back."
"I love that it's a coordinated effort and that everybody does it on the same day," said Sivertsen. "Tomorrow - it's amazing to hear all of the talk of the different projects and the experiences and the conversations that people had, because everybody was doing it on one day."
Also today, United Way of the Quad Cities Area announced its campaign goal for 2014 - $8.5 million. To learn more about the organization and/or to donate, click here.