Each year on the day of our United Way Laurence E. Richardson Day of Caring, United Way staff and Board members team up and travel to visit the volunteers and nonprofits where projects are taking place. As soon as we stepped into the door of the Virginia Discovery Museum on my trip to local nonprofits that day, I knew that something special was taking place. All of the volunteers were smiling, laughing and busily working away. We were greeted by the wonderful staff at the museum and heard about the amazing work that had taken place with the volunteers.
As soon as I got back to the office that day, I wrote a letter to the museum staff asking for them to share what made the Day of Caring so special for them. I thought that highlighting the excitement at the Virginia Discovery Museum and showcasing the impact the volunteers made that day could help other nonprofits see the benefits in participating in such a special event.
Here is what the Virginia Discovery Museum staff shared:
"Every year, the Virginia Discovery Museum participates in Day of Caring. In fact, we purposely schedule our exhibit renovations around that day. This year, we welcomed volunteers from BB&T and CFA for an all-day, museum-wide renovation project. Starting at 9am, volunteers painted every room in the museum with new, exciting colors, helped us move furniture that otherwise would not have moved, and constructed new exhibits for the kids to play on. It is safe to say that without the hard work and enthusiasm of these volunteers, our recent new exhibits (Discovery Garage and Virginia Frontier) would not have opened on time to the public.
The most memorable part of Day of Caring is the camaraderie and the “willingness to do anything” of the volunteers. More than once, staff at the Virginia Discovery Museum was told that the volunteers come expecting to work hard and accomplish the tasks set before them. The staff started the day with several possible tasks for the volunteers, thinking that only a token few would be accomplished. By the end of the day, every single task was complete; and both the staff and volunteers left the museum exhilarated with a sense of accomplishment.
In the following week, staff members raved about the help we received from Day of Caring volunteers. We wish this event occurred multiple times throughout the year. We genuinely hope that the volunteers had a great time at the museum and we eagerly await the next Day of Caring."