It’s that time of year when the United Way invites communities worldwide to come together to harness the volunteer spirit and make life better through a Day of Action. With school out and a more casual summer routine in place, no better time than now to volunteer for a few hours. It’s good for your soul and a perfect way to be a role model for someone who hasn’t volunteered before.
The Tarrant County United Way aims to mobilize volunteers across the county through three projects in Fort Worth, Hurst and Arlington on Thursday, and the projects offer indoor and outdoor activities.
“Volunteers can choose to work with Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County, Tails and Trails Dog Park in Arlington or Mayfair Park in Hurst,” said Victoria Walton, volunteer engagement manager for United Way.
At the Meals on Wheels office, 5740 Airport Freeway, volunteers who prefer to work indoors will assemble emergency and comfort kits for clients.
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Another indoor job is available at the United Way offices at 1500 N. Main St. in Fort Worth, where volunteers will write cards for veterans who receive Meals on Wheels services. Work on these assignments runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and volunteers can choose the hours they prefer.
A couple of beautification projects await volunteers willing to work outdoors. All tools and supplies will be provided. Volunteers should arrive at 8:45 a.m. to receive their assignments. Projects will be completed by noon.
Arlington’s project will be at the Tails and Trails Dog Park, 950 SE Green Oaks Blvd. In Hurst, volunteers will work at Mayfair Park, 1725 Norwood Drive.
In conjunction with the Day of Action, the folks at Meals on Wheels are asking the community to donate items that their clients especially need at this time of year: box fans and small window air-conditioning units. Other needs include wheelchairs, walkers, nonperishable foods, hygiene items, socks with rubber tread, slippers, night lights, lap blankets and bath towels.
Items can be dropped off all day Thursday at Meals on Wheels or the United Way offices. Additionally, Meals on Wheels is inviting people to stay awhile and check out its new facility. Tours are set for 11 a.m. (lunch served) and 2 and 2:30 p.m.
Senior citizens ride free thanks to local charity
If you noticed a midnight-blue 1956 Cadillac parked out front at Johnny B’s in Southlake recently, it was part of a fun ’50s-themed volunteer appreciation party hosted by Call a Ride of Southlake. Mayor Laura Hill was there to read a proclamation declaring that the day be set aside to honor the good folks who volunteer for CARS.
CARS provides free nonemergency transportation to Southlake seniors and disabled adults for medical, dental, social, business, shopping and personal needs. The whole idea is to help them retain their independence and encourage them to be active. Nonmedical trips are offered within 7 miles of Southlake, and CARS will travel up to 25 miles for medical purposes. Services are available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
“All rides are provided by unpaid volunteers, using their personal vehicles and fuel without compensation,” Lisa Adam of CARS said. “In 2015, our volunteers provided more than 1,400 rides driving more than 10,000 miles giving our clients a level of independence they lost when they stopped driving.”
30 charities reap the benefits of Art in the Square
In three beautiful days of sunshine at this year’s Art in the Square in April, thousands of guests had fun and more than 150 artists showed and sold their exceptional work. But the good weather also translated into sunny skies for 30 charities that received the proceeds from the event.
An impressive $191,000 was divvied up at the May 25 volunteer appreciation reception hosted by the Southlake Women’s Club, the group that puts on Art in the Square.
“The Southlake Women’s Club wishes to thank over 800 volunteers, 96 sponsors and the community support that helped paint an artful event for the 30 beneficiaries,” club spokeswoman Sherri Whitt said.
Artists were also recognized at the event with Awards of Distinction presented to Nobe Babayan (metal), Marvin Blackmore (ceramics), Cindy Capehart (oil), Gary Streter (oil) and Michael Woodard (photography).
The People's Choice Winner was Gregory Strachov of Floral City, Fla. Youth artist Itze Cuevas of Westlake Academy won the Lone Star Award.
Catch a ride on the Education Express
How about this for a unique summer outing? Step back in time Thursday as you board one of two 1920s vintage coaches at the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. It could be a romantic evening for a couple, or turn it into a fab outing for a group of friends looking for a unique experience.
As the train journeys along 21 miles of the Historic Cotton Belt Route toward Fort Worth, guests onboard will nosh on superb food catered by DeVivo Bros. as they enjoy live jazz music.
As an added benefit, buying a ticket for this amazing railway experience will enable the Community Storehouse to offer an additional Summer Book Club program to the children it serves.
“Through our education programs, we are giving children the tools they need to stay focused on their education, and the success of this event will allow us to help twice as many children in Summer Book Club this year,” Executive Director Barbara Board said.
The Education Express will begin boarding at 6:30 p.m., depart at 7 and return around 9. Tickets are $150 per couple or $80 each. Limited capacity. Purchase online at www.CommunityStorehouse.org