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August 29, 2013

United Way Day of Caring slots still open

United WayRegistration is underway for the annual Pitt United Way Day of Caring.

This year’s event is set for Sept. 24 — earlier than is typical, because alumni expressed interest in participating in community service projects as part of Pitt’s homecoming week, said Kannu Sahni, director for community relations.

“We would love to have our alumni make this an annual event,” he said.

This year’s Day of Caring also is larger, with the addition of some new community groups with which Pitt faculty, staff, alumni and students will be partnering. Gardening and landscaping are among the outdoor opportunities available, while painting, cleaning and minor repairs are among the indoor tasks for volunteers.

Paul Supowitz, vice chancellor for community and governmental relations, was one of Pitt’s volunteers during the 2012 Day of Caring.

Paul Supowitz, vice chancellor for community and governmental relations, was one of Pitt’s volunteers during the 2012 Day of Caring.

Approximately 175 volunteers still are needed toward a goal of approximately 420 to fully staff volunteer opportunities in partnership with 30 community organizations — more than last year’s 200 volunteers who worked on 22 Day of Caring projects, Sahni said.

Given the economic downturn, agencies are facing additional challenges, he said. “They are very anxious for help and looking for organizations such as Pitt to provide volunteers.”

Available opportunities are posted at with the number of “tickets” listed in the “remaining” column representing the number of spaces still available at a particular project site. Participants can sign up for their chosen venue by changing the “0” in the “quantity” column then clicking “register.”

Projects begin at 9 a.m. and end by 4 p.m. Those using Pitt transportation should check in by 8 a.m. on Bigelow Boulevard near the Soldiers and Sailors garage entrance. Buses depart at 8:30 a.m.

Not all partners are listed on the registration site, said Sahni, explaining that groups or departments have adopted some projects in their entirety.

Other sites are marked on the registration site as “sold out,” meaning that they have reached the number of volunteers they can accommodate for the day. Among the sold-out sites as of the University Times’ press time were: Canterbury Place, Carnegie Library of Homestead, East End Cooperative Ministry, Family House, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Oakland Planning and Development Corp., Squirrel Hill Food Pantry and Stephen Foster Community Center.

Sahni noted that a number of opportunities remain for projects at three sites in partnership with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and with the Greenfield Community Association’s Magee Park project, Rodman Street Baptist Church and at the Hazelwood YMCA, among others.

Additional projects are being added to the registration site as details are finalized. Sahni said those include opportunities with the Kingsley Association in Larimer and the Salvation Army.

Participants are asked to sign up by Sept. 1. Additional details are posted at

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 46 Issue 1

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