MANATEE -- It seems impossible to paint, garden, clean and organize 170 needy sites in Manatee, Sarasota, DeSoto, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties all in one day.
But the United Way, including the United Way of Manatee, is attempting to complete 170 volunteer projects in just six hours Thursday, Oct. 2.
They call it the "Day of Caring" and the beneficiary in Manatee County will be Bradenton's Village of the Arts, said Phillip Brown, president of United Way of Manatee County.
"It's an opportunity to mobilize hundreds of generous volunteers across our community to make a positive impact in the lives of others," Brown said.
Nearly 2,200 volunteers from more than 120 local companies will tackle projects at social service agencies in the five counties, said Emery Ivery, United Way Suncoast Tampa Bay Area president.
In Sarasota, volunteers from Gateway Bank will mulch, weed and plant to create a garden and spruce up the area at the Senior Friendship Centers Inc., 1888 Brother Geenen Way, Sarasota.
Also in Sarasota, volunteers from PNC Bank will install playground equipment for children and shade structures around the campus at Children First, 1912 N. Orange Ave.
The way it works is companies send teams of volun
teer employees for the day to work on projects service agencies do not have the manpower or resources to handle, Brown said.
The event is spearheaded by United Way Suncoast, which serves DeSoto, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Sarasota counties and United Way of Manatee County.
Tasks run the gamut from creating computer network systems to painting, from conducting mock interviews for low-income job seekers to gardening, and from refinishing furniture to cleaning and organizing.
The value of the donated work is estimated at $297,660, amounting to 1,500 days or 300 weeks of work in just one day, Ivery said.
The work value comes from a formula derived by The Independent Sector, a leadership forum for charities, foundations and corporate giving programs, which calculates the value of a volunteer in 2013 at $22.55 per hour, Ivery said.
"Our collective region is generous with time and resources, and Day of Caring illustrates how working together produces positive impacts for countless members of our community," Ivery said. "Day of Caring is a bright spot on the calendar that our corporate partners, volunteers, and partner agencies all look forward to every year."
Also on Oct. 2:
Volunteers from Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cargill Salt, Moffitt Cancer Center and Publix will complete beautification projects on campus at The Children's Home Inc., 10909 Memorial Highway Tampa.
Volunteers from Time Customer Service will conduct a painting makeover project at United Cerebral Palsy of Tampa Bay, 2215 E. Henry Avenue, Tampa,.
Volunteers from Clearwater will landscape and paint interiors and exteriors at Willa Carson Health and Wellness Center, 1108 N. Martin L. King Ave., Clearwater.
Volunteers from Allstate and Publix will conduct a supply drive for students, paint classrooms, and participate in landscaping projects at Community Preschool, 1665 25th Ave. N. St. Petersburg.
United Way is a nonprofit organization that develops resources and partnerships for programs and initiatives to improve the quality of life for individuals and families, Brown said.
Information about Day of Caring: Philip Harris at 727-255-1360.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter @RichardDymond.