United Way of Pettis County ‘Day of Action’ Draws 250 Volunteers
United Way of Pettis County held its annual Day of Action Saturday morning at Hubbard Park.
About 250 volunteers on 20 teams showed up to help with 15 projects in the area, according to UWPC Executive Director Rachelle Simon.
Homeowners signed up in advance to be a part of Day of Action. Many of the projects involved trimming back unruly trees, overgrown bushes and cutting the grass, installing smoke detectors (supplied by American Red Cross) in 20 homes, picking up trash, as well as general home improvement projects.
First Ward Councilman Tom Oldham cruised the area in a City truck, keeping teams supplied with rakes, gloves, trash bags and water. He also stayed in contact with Simon throughout the event.
“What I love about being a part of UWPC’s Day of Action is that is does more than clean up a neighborhood or help a family with an overwhelming task that they might not have been able to do on their own, but it creates a ripple effect throughout our community and throughout the rest of the year. I spearhead the neighborhood clean up each year, and we spend months finding what location would best benefit from the project, what are the issues in that area, what materials are needed, finding the teams, and so much more. When that day comes we have individuals, businesses, churches, organizations come out and tackle overgrowth, trash pick up, painting homes and start turning a neighborhood around. When a clean up happens on one property, it sparks others to take pride with theirs. This event IS neighborhood revitalization!” Oldham commented.
“It brings me great joy to see so many people coming out today to be generous of the time and talent to give back to the community, it's inspiring,” Simon told the crowd gathered at a Hubbard Park shelter house to take part in opening ceremonies and doughnuts. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart ... this is truly a community event. It simply could not happen without each and every one of you.”
Simon also thanked the Day of Action Planning Committee, which spent months behind the scenes, making sure Saturday's event went smoothly. The committee also approved the 15 projects, two of which involved the La Monte Senior Housing Center and the Open Door Kitchen.
The 11-member planning committee consisted of Chris Stewart, Nathon Gaudreau, Michelle O’Donnell, James Giles, Tom Oldham, Chris Traffanstedt, Julie Steele, Laramey Johnson, JoAnn Martin, Kirstin Sopko, Samantha Gilpin, and Kevin Wade.
The North Organization Neighborhood Group canvassed the area well ahead of Day of Action to let residents know what was being planned for June 17.
Simon also credited those who donated supplies for the event, including project materials, as well as food and drink.
Donors included Mid-City Lumber, Hermann Lumber, Dugan's Paint and Flooring Center, Septagon Construction, American Red Cross (smoke detectors), Break Time, City of Sedalia, Cocoa-Cola, Altrusa (supplied breakfast), Pettis County Medical Reserve Corps.
The 20 teams included Katy Trail Community Health, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Duke Manufacturing, Sedalia Young Professionals, Center For Human Services' Care Committee, Whiteman AFB Firefighters and Families, Heartland Cocoa-Cola, Owens Corning, Sparky's Whiteman Electric Shop, New Hope Baptist Church, Recovery Lighthouse, Thrivent, Septagon, MPACT First Church Youth Group, Bothwell Regional Health Center, State Fair Community College Cares, Evans Pharmacy, Pettis County Community Partnership, and Pro Energy.
Sedalia Mayor Pro Tem and Fourth Ward Councilwoman Rhiannon Foster then read aloud a proclamation “Sedalia's Day of Action” to the crowd assembled at the park.
This was followed by the presentation of colors by members of the Civil Air Patrol.
Bailey Stout was at the shelter representing Children's Mercy Hospital, which is a United Way of Pettis County agency.
Stout is manager of regional philanthropic giving for Children's Mercy.
“We receive funding from the United Way as one of their partner agencies,” Stout told KSIS. She and a couple of volunteers were busy assembling “happy kits” for kids who enter the hospital to help calm their nerves.
“So from the support of the United Way of Pettis County to Children's Mercy Hospital, their donations go directly to support uncompensated bills for patients from this county, so in this last donation cycle, they covered all those uncompensated bills for this county,” Stout said. “And we get some bills that are a couple hundred dollars, and some that are a thousand. And the United Way here is paying those costs that were not covered.