Feb. 25, 2022
Nearly 60 City of Pensacola employees and Mayor Grover Robinson joined volunteers throughout the community to support United Way Day of Caring
on Friday, Feb. 25, an annual community service effort coordinated by United Way of West Florida.
City employees worked on a variety of projects to support several local nonprofit organizations, including Bright Bridge Ministries, Currie House Youth Shelter, Manna Food Pantries, Ronald McDonald House and United Ministries of Pensacola. Employees from more than 10 City of Pensacola departments volunteered during Day of Caring.
"It was great to have so many employees participate in United Way activities and giving back to our community today," Mayor Robinson said. "We painted, we mopped, we cleaned, and we made a difference in our community with the organizations we helped."
Volunteers from the city worked on painting, landscaping and yard work, pressure washing, cleaning, and more, along with writing letters of encouragement to students in Escambia and Santa Rosa County schools through the Camp Fire program's Absolutely Incredible Kid Day.
City of Pensacola Public Works & Facilities Director Amy Tootle said participating in volunteer efforts like United Way Day of Caring is important because it gives employees an opportunity to give back in a more personal way. Public Works & Facilities employees participated in writing letters of encouragement to students and a variety of other tasks, including tree trimming, cleaning and yard work at Manna Food Pantries and the Currie House.
"I think it shows that we're giving back to the community not just on a professional level, but on a personal level," Tootle said. "And it's not just that we're forced to, but this is from our hearts and from wanting to give back."
Several city departments were represented Friday, including the City Attorney’s Office, Finance, Housing, Human Resources, IT, Office of the Mayor, Parks and Recreation, Pensacola Energy, Pensacola Fire Department, Pensacola Police Department and Public Works & Facilities.
Volunteers from Pensacola Energy worked to clean up and do landscaping at a brand new playground area at Ronald McDonald House
, which will be enjoyed by children and their families who are staying at Ronald McDonald House while they receive critical medical treatment.
"This is great – it gives us a chance to be part of our community," said Darryl Singleton, Superintendent of Operations for Pensacola Energy. "I live and work here. Our largest customer base is here, and this gives us a chance to give back. And I can't think of anything better than Ronald McDonald House to give back to."
In 2019 alone, over 1,000 community-minded people signed up to continue the tradition of United Way Day of Caring, helping complete more than 150 projects at 73 agencies and schools in the community. Together, Day of Caring volunteers donated nearly 5,000 hours of service valued at $126,336. Additional donations of materials and supplies added thousands more to the collective impact.Manna Food Pantries Director of Development Kerri Smayda said Day of Caring is incredibly helpful for their organization, and expressed their thanks to city employees who volunteered their time Friday.
"Manna is so grateful for the city's participation in Day of Caring," Smayda said. "Volunteers make it possible to fulfill our mission to feed the hungry in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties."
Since Day of Caring was introduced in 1993, United Way of West Florida has coordinated nearly 28,026 volunteers to complete 2,572 projects across Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.
To learn more about United Way Day of Caring, visit uwwf.org/dayofcaring.