Oct. 7, 2022
Nearly 70 City of Pensacola employees, Mayor Grover Robinson and Mayor-Elect D.C. Reeves joined volunteers throughout the community to support United Way Day of Caring
on Friday, Oct. 7, 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 Health & Hope Clinic, Manna Food Pantries, Project GreenShores, Scenic Heights Elementary School, Waterfront Rescue Mission and Workman Middle School.
"I am so proud of the volunteer work that the employees of the City of Pensacola do to support our community," Mayor Robinson said. "Engaged employees care about their community and the people who live in it, and it is inspiring to be a part of this effort. I'd also like to thank United Way for being a long-term partner with the city in working to make our community better."
Volunteers from the city worked on painting and pressure washing at Health & Hope Clinic, a community garden at Workman Middle School, landscaping and yard work at Scenic Heights Elementary School, and litter cleanup along the bayfront with project GreenShores. City employees also sorted and packed food at Manna, along with sweeping and mopping, exterior cleanup and more. Several Public Works & Facilities employees spent the afternoon sorting donations at Waterfront Rescue Mission Thrift Store as part of Day of Caring.
“It was great to get out and see all the amazing, selfless people we have working at the City of Pensacola,” Reeves said. “Their impact on our city both at work and when they are giving of their time outside of work to help others is inspiring. I’m excited to be part of this amazing team soon.”
About 25 volunteers from Pensacola Fire Department spent the morning cleaning up weeds and overgrowth at the Workman Middle School community garden so that students can begin using it again to grow their own plants, fruits and vegetables.
"The principal was telling me that in order to get this done, he would have to come on his weekends to do it, and so Pensacola Fire said we would come out and help," Pensacola Fire Chief Ginny Cranor said. "
The community needs to see us engaging in projects that matter and connecting with our community."
Workman Middle School Derrick Thomas said he's grateful for PFD's help in bringing the community garden back to life, and he also appreciates the opportunity to build a relationship between the school and Pensacola Fire Department. Thomas said he's excited to see students use the garden as a learning tool.
"It's a huge part of what our what our kids do and what the school does – to be able to use this garden and for the kids to be able to grow things and see it for themselves, how stuff actually was done in the old days," Thomas said. Everything's not given to you – y
ou have to actually grow your own food, pick your own food. So it's great for the kids, and that's what it's all about."
Several city departments were represented Friday, including Finance, Human Resources, Office of the Mayor, Pensacola Energy, Pensacola Fire Department, Pensacola Police Department and Public Works & Facilities.
Thanks to the Pensacola Police Department's volunteer efforts Friday at Manna Food Pantries, Manna shared that they will be able to provide 8,589 healthy meals to individuals in need in the community.
"That's 2,863 people that your volunteerism made a difference for this morning, because 2,863 people will have food for a day thanks to what you did," Manna Executive Director DeDe Flounlacker said when thanking volunteers. "So you really do make a difference."
Day of Caring is a community-wide initiative that connects volunteers and resources with local agencies and schools in need of support. 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.
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.