Dressed in “LIVE UNITED” T-shirts, Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine volunteers teamed up at the Day of Caring on Sept. 6, 2019, to paint and clean at the YWCA headquarters on Market Street and organize supplies and donations at its child development center. Another group also weeded and spruced up the YWCA’s Camp Reily in Harrisburg.
Outside, Deborah Berini, president of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; Dr. Kevin Black, interim dean of the College of Medicine; and Judy Dillon, recently retired director of community health, worked with other Penn State Health employees on a large mulching and weeding project in the children’s play area.
“The Day of Caring was such a great opportunity to spend some time making a difference in our community,” Bernini said. “It was also a chance for me to work side by side with other staff members and get to know them. We put our hearts into fixing up the YWCA.”
This was the largest participation ever by Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine employees who joined 1,700 volunteers to help kick off United Way of the Capital Region’s 2019 campaign.
“One of our core missions is supporting community health, and that means not just within the four walls of our hospital,” said Jess Wadsworth, Penn State Health community outreach coordinator. “We were excited with the turnout – it shows that our employees are saying this isn’t just what my company stands for, it’s what I stand for.”
To demonstrate Penn State Health’s commitment to the United Way, the organization paid employees for their volunteer day of work, Wadsworth said.
Partnering with other organizations like United Way that are already working to better the community helps increase the impact of everyone’s efforts, she noted.
“The YWCA staff and the work they do to support those in need is amazing,” Black said. “I went there with the hope of making a small difference for people in need. In reality, the incredible group from Penn State Health and I were the ones who benefited.”
The spirited Day of Caring got the Penn State Health and College of Medicine United Way campaign off to a strong start. Employees exceeded the goal by nearly 5%, raising a record-breaking $400,454 toward the overall community campaign goal of $10,000,579.