Kishwaukee United Way’s annual Day of Caring volunteer event occurs each year in the summer months. Thanks to a new partnership with Target, agencies will get the benefit of volunteer service and support this winter season. Sara McGrail from the Target Distribution Center reached out to Dawn Littlefield, Director of Kishwaukee United Way in November and together they wrote a grant creating a project that allows Target volunteers to lend service to nonprofit groups, and helps agencies purchase needed supplies and materials related to their mission.
This event promotes teamwork and cooperation, and thus was planned on January 16th and 18th to honor the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. This project helps to answer a question posed by Dr. King himself — “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” The goal of these projects speak to his inquiry; creating an initiative that mobilizes individuals to give their time, talents and energy to help others. The volunteer work days will give Target team members the opportunity to volunteer, learn more about local nonprofits, and make a hands-
on difference in our local community.
Kishwaukee United Way reached out to partner agencies in December, and identified 11 sites for volunteer work. The relationships United Way has with local agencies made it easy to connect with staff and finalize projects . In addition to staffing the volunteer days, Target has provided an $8000 grant to be divided among all sites. The funds will be used to support a variety of efforts, from helping to clean and paint nonprofit sites, to interacting with kids and helping to supply items for child care classrooms, to packaging and delivering meals, stocking and organizing food pantries, and supporting mentors who volunteer for Big Brother/Big Sisters.
MLK Works Days will match Target team members to staff at 10 sites in DeKalb and Sycamore and one at a Rockford site run by a United Way partner agency. Teams will kick off their projects with a Rally on both service days, Saturday, January 16th and Monday January 18th, and proceed to work at sites from 9:00 am to 12 noon both days. Dawn Littlefield, Director of Kishwaukee United Way Director stated, “ I am excited about this volunteer opportunity that complements our summer Day of Caring event. We are very grateful for Target’s support and involvement to make this day possible,” Littlefield said. “This is a wonderful chance to support our nonprofit partners by helping them complete needed tasks at this time of year, and bolster some of their resources to enable them to continue to serve individuals and families in our area.”