First Cincinnati Rotary Do Days Rallies Hundreds of Volunteers

More than 200 volunteers washed windows, served meals to homeless families, cut brush, painted picnic tables, and constructed buildings, from storage sheds to doll houses, as they met the needs of non-profits across the region in the first Cincinnati Rotary Do Days.

The two-day service blitz on Oct. 21 and 22 was the first of what the Rotary Club of Cincinnati plans as an annual event, matching volunteers throughout the community with hands-on needs of non-profits.

Rotary Club members and individual volunteers from the community were joined by corporate volunteer teams including AAA, Truepoint Wealth Counsel and US Bank.

“The non-profits were unbelievably grateful – some tearfully grateful – and excited about continuing the relationship with the Rotary,” said Owen Wrassman, co-chair of the inaugural event.

The Rotary ‘s motto, “Service above Self,” reflects its commitment to serving the community. One of the goals of Do Days, Wrassman said, was to showcase the work of Greater Cincinnati’s non-profits to volunteers who may not have been aware of the impact they could make.

Shannon Dowling of Hyde Park was part of the Truepoint Wealth Counsel team at Elderly Persons in Community (EPIC), which provides safe housing for 10 elderly residents in Over the Rhine.

“They are a small non-profit providing a home for people who can’t live alone, but don’t need nursing care,” said Dowling.  “They are doing really great work.  I wouldn’t have known about them without Do Days, but I have a connection now. “

Dowling pulled weeds and winterized gardens at EPIC. In Walnut Hills, volunteers cut vegetables and packed meals for low-income families at La Soupe. Other volunteer teams built a storage shed at the Ken Anderson Alliance Just Brew Coffee house in Silverton, did outdoor clean-up at Camp Allyn in Batavia and spruced up activity areas at Gamble Nippert YMCA in Westwood.

Cincinnati’s vice mayor, Jan-Michele Kearny, kicked off the project at St. Francis Seraph ministries in downtown Cincinnati, presenting a proclamation declaring Oct. 21 and 22 as Cincinnati Rotary Do Days. She hailed the 112-year-old Cincinnati Rotary Club for its legacy of service that continues to impact the community.

“Rotary has always been about service,” Wrassman said. “With Do Days, we’re hoping to make it easier for the whole community to meet needs together.” For more information, contact