The Rotary Club of Cincinnati rallied more than 500 volunteers from across Greater Cincinnati for the second annual Rotary Do Days – a massive three-day service blitz that provided more than 1500 hours of free labor to 34 non-profit agencies in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
Co-chair Linda Muth of Union Township called it a marvel of logistics and heart, as volunteers served meals in homeless shelters, cut brush on a muddy creek bank, built tables, packed school supplies, painted walls, packaged meals for hungry families and stuffed envelopes.
Bennett Kottler, director of restoration projects for the Mill Creek Alliance, welcomed 36 firefighters and firefighter recruits to an overgrown section of the Mill Creek in Evendale. “We’re thrilled to have these hearty, can-do individuals to take down invasive honeysuckle that we have never had the chance to remove,” said Kottler, of Oakley. “We have four-and-a-half paid employees. Without volunteers, we couldn’t get this kind of work done. The Rotary made this happen.”
At the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 15 volunteers stuffed envelopes for a direct mail campaign. At the Shelterhouse Cincinnati women’s center, 10 members of the University of Cincinnati Rotaract Club served meals to women in the shelter.
“No matter what your skill level or physical capabilities, if you wanted to volunteer, there was a place for you,” Muth said.
More than 300 volunteers were part of corporate work teams, like the 81 volunteers from Truepoint Wealth Counsel who spread out to help five non-profits. Others, like P&G retirees Ann Bailey of Indian Hill and Rosella Covington of Anderson Township, signed on as individual volunteers.
Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval launched the event with a proclamation and donned an apron and hair net to help package 12,000 non-perishable breakfasts, to be distributed to school children and hungry families through UC Health and the Sam Hubbard Foundation.
Rotary Do Days is the Rotary Club of Cincinnati’s signature service project, reflecting the Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self,” said Muth, who co-chaired the event with Kelly Mahan of Mt. Adams and Kelly Collison of Sycamore Township. The goal was to impact local non-profits by making volunteering easy. The Rotary organized a variety of volunteer projects ranging from two to several hours over three days throughout the region. Each volunteer site had a Rotary Ambassador who oversaw everything from parking to sign-in sheets to snacks. The Rotary Club worked with CincinnatiCares.org – the on-line volunteer matching service, to recruit and pair volunteers with community needs.
This was an all-hands-on-deck operation for our Rotary members, who made this happen, said Muth.