Monday, April 26, 2010

Tired, Sore, Sweaty, and Incredibly Dirt-Covered!

A Story of how GE Finance LIVES UNITED

On April 15th, over 720 volunteers donated 3,970 hours to 65 volunteer projects at 51 nonprofit organizations. Wow! It was all part of United Way of Northwest Arkansas' LIVE UNITED Day 2010 (formerly called Day of Caring) - a day to facilitate volunteerism and community engagement throughout NWA.

Look here through the week for a series of LIVE UNITED stories from our volunteers. We thought it appropriate to begin with Brad Lymburner of GE Finance, whose company generously sponsored this year's event. Brad is a member of the Resource Advisory Cabinet and volunteer for numerous United Way projects, and is a strong advocate for United Way's LIVE UNITED movement. This is his LIVE UNITED Day 2010 story:

Our local GE Consumer Finance team has always been supportive of volunteer efforts throughout our community, whether that's teaching Junior Achievement classes in our local schools, participating in Habitat for Humanity build days, organizing food drives for the Food Bank, or any one of a number of other activities.

As the sponsoring company for this year's Live United Day, I hoped to see great support from our local team for the event. I wasn't disappointed. On a beautiful warm and sunny day, 22 GE Consumer Finance employees committed all or part of their day to spread mulch throughout the flower beds and landscaping at the Rogers Adult Wellness Center. For anyone who has never visited the facility, the center has beautiful gardens throughout a courtyard space behind the building. The area consists of walking trails, a pond area, outside eating areas, and more.

Our team worked alongside a team from Scott's Lawn Care and transported and spread over 45 cubic yards of mulch. Unfortunately, the center somewhat underestimated the amount of mulch needed for the project and also underestimated how hard their volunteers would work! By mid-day, the center was scrambling to get more mulch delivered. By the end of the day, the team was tired, sore, sweaty, and incredibly dirt covered but still excited to have been able to make a difference for the center. Not only have the members of the center been excited to see how nice the newly mulched gardens look but they have been completely overwhelmed to find out that the work was all done by volunteers!

Making a positive difference in our community matters to our team and everyone who participated found the day to be very rewarding. Now it's on to our next project...painting at the Bentonville Boys and Girls Club! Who says you need to wait until next year's event to make a difference?

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