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United Way seeks projects, volunteers for Month of Caring

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Lynn Jackson yard work (copy)

Volunteers from Lynn Jackson Shultz & Lebrun weeded a lawn at a Rapid City residence as part of the United Way of the Black Hills 2021 Month of Caring. 

United Way of the Black Hills is looking for more projects — especially in the Northern and Southern Hills — and volunteers for the 2022 Month of Caring.

The annual Month of Caring, which starts Sept. 1, mobilizes volunteer teams to tackle projects such as painting, landscaping, sorting donated food and more. The projects benefit the elderly, veterans and nonprofit organizations in communities throughout the Black Hills.

Volunteer teams and those who need assistance with projects are encouraged to contact United Way of the Black Hills by Aug. 19 so the United Way staff has time to coordinate and assign teams and projects, according to Executive Director Jamie Toennies.

“We’ve got teams signing up and we’ve got projects coming in. We do need a handful of more projects. We’re trying to get the word out that if people have potential projects to reach out,” Toennies said.

“We’re always looking for projects that a team of (about) eight individuals can get done in an afternoon,” she said. “This is for the Black Hills as a whole, so we’re looking for projects all over.”

Projects cannot involve construction, electrical repairs or other work that requires licensed professionals.

In the Northern and Southern Hills, there are more volunteers than projects registered for the Month of Caring. Individuals or nonprofits who have possible projects, who want to volunteer, or who want to attend the Month of Caring kickoff luncheon should contact Rosellen Reese at 605-343-5872 or go to unitedwayblackhills.org/month-caring.

As of Friday, 69 teams and 64 projects were registered for Month of Caring, Toennies said.

The Month of Caring begins with a kick-off luncheon at 11 a.m. Sept. 1 at The Monument, and Month of Caring continues through Sept. 30.

In 2021, 620 volunteers participated in the Month of Caring and completed 79 projects, which had a total economic impact of $70,779 in the Black Hills.

United Way of the Black Hills expanded its former Day of Caring into a Month of Caring, which has been a benefit as businesses coped with challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and staffing issues.

“We don’t have as many teams as we have in the past, but at the same time everybody loves the Month of Caring because it gives them flexibility so they can make it work even with (being) short staffed,” Toennies said. “Last year, I heard how many teams were able to take on a couple of projects as a result of Month of Caring.”

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