Volunteers give park new look

September 17, 2009 3:46:08 PM PDT
A playground in the Juniata section of Philadelphia is shining like new thanks to dozens of volunteers. Some 500 volunteers spent the dreary day scraping, sweeping , sanding, weeding, polishing and painting to brighten up Juniata Park.

It was the kickoff event for the United Way's 365 Days of Caring Campaign. It's a year-long effort to encourage people to donate not just money, but also time to improve our area.

"Particularly in this economy, people are going to have more time than treasure, this year and they're going to have to think about other ways of giving back to this community and we want people to think constantly about ways of giving back, even when they may not have the dollars to do so," CEO of the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania Jill Michal said.

The volunteers came from dozens of local companies. Though most days would find them in business suits, today they were ready to get down and dirty.

Dana Dean of Lumberman's Mutual Insurance Company was among those clearing the overgrown hiking trails.

"It's the only way to get things done. It's a big job and it's so true that we all have to pull together to get this kind of work done and we're making progress," volunteer Dana Dean said.

"This is just a great opportunity to come out and to give to a community that we really don't live in everyday and clean up the area for the residents here so they can enjoy the park," Ken Luciani from Vanguard said.

Neighbors liked the results.

"It's great, it's beautiful. He has someplace to go play now," resident Matthew Spiker said.

LINK: http://www.uwsepa.org/LiveUnited/


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