Volunteers from Sentara Lend a Helping Hand to Girl Scouts

Nearly 40 volunteers from Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center gave a helping hand to Girl Scouts on September 19 as part of Day of Caring. This annual event is sponsored by the United Way of Greater Williamsburg to connect local volunteers to nonprofit organizations for a fun-filled day of hard work to build a stronger Williamsburg community. This is the third year that volunteers from Sentara have helped Girl Scouts for Day of Caring.

Volunteers spent the day at Girl Scout Camp Skimino, a 98-acre property used year round by Girl Scouts and community groups for camping, outdoor activities and meetings. They painted the exterior of the Enmeier Center, a three-story building that houses the dining hall, kitchen and program rooms at the camp. Two years ago, Sentara volunteers painted the interior of the center for Day of Caring.

"I've been organizing Day of Caring for 18 years, and by far, Camp Skimino has been a favorite spot for Sentara employees to give back," Don West, director of support operations for Sentara Healthcare, said. "We have lots of new faces helping out this year, and a group who have been coming to Camp Skimino all three years."

A lot of preparation went into the Day of Caring efforts. Members of the hospital's maintenance department visited Camp Skimino ahead of time to test paint colors and assess any repairs that needed to be made to the exterior of the building. On Day of Caring, all except for one member of the maintenance staff was at Camp Skimino to help with the painting project. Other volunteers hold a variety of roles at the hospital, including nurse manager, director of surgical services, cook and social worker. Sentara purchased all of the paint and supplies needed to make improvements to the Enmeier Center.

In addition to taking part in Day of Caring, Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center employees help provide food for over 300 children in the area through a backpack program, which sends food home with children who rely on food at school for nourishment. They also sponsor Project SEARCH, which gives students with disabilities a one-year internship at the hospital.

Day of Caring was established in 1991 to promote the spirit of volunteerism, increase awareness of local human service organizations and demonstrate how people working together for the common good can accomplish great things. Each year, hundreds of volunteers from the business sector participate in Day of Caring and give service to nonprofit organizations.

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