News

Companies show they care

By PAT JENKINS

The Mirror

Bankers gave ivy the heave-ho at a public park, an airplane maker dispatched readers and employees of a credit-card company whipped out the elbow grease in Federal Way last Friday for Day of Caring, United Way of King County’s annual labor of love by volunteers.

The community event produced $620,000 worth of labor on behalf of non-profit organizations countywide. Organizers said 100 companies made a combined 6,000 employees available for 350 projects in the largest one-day mobilization of volunteers in Washington.

The projects generally were focused on making social gains, particularly improvements in homelessness and the welfare and education of children.

At the Boys and Girls Club in Federal Way, for instance, employees from the Capital One office in town cleaned parts of the building and spruced up the grounds.

Twenty-four Boeing workers read to students at Mark Twain Elementary School, in conjunction with Page Ahead Children’s Literacy.

And at Lake Geneva County Park, a 10-person team from Sterling Savings Bank pulled out ivy that was growing where park officials didn’t want it.

“It’s fun,” said Mary Brillault, a community banking assistant at the Northgate branch who organized the crew from Sterling’s offices in Federal Way and elsewhere.

That’s the attitude that makes Day of Caring special, said Norm Rice, the former mayor of Seattle. He and his wife, Constance, are co-chairing United Way’s 2004-05 fund-raising campaign that uses the event as its official kickoff.

Rice said the corporate volunteers are an example “of how generous our neighbors are and to what length they°ll go to make our community stronger.”

The fund-raising campaign’s goal is $41 million for the Community Safety Net Fund. The fund is earmarked for pressing social priorities, such as homelessness and preparing children for educational success. Information is available at unitedwayofkingcounty.org.

Tens of thousands of people throughout the county volunteer all year with United Way-supported agencies and programs, officials said. An all-volunteer board of directors governs the agency, aided by a paid staff.

Editor Pat Jenkins: 925-5565, editor@fedwaymirror.com

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