LIMA — The United Way of Greater Lima recognized 2020 isn’t a normal year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. That led the charitable organization to celebrate its fifth annual Day of Caring in an unusual way.
“We’ve had to change things up a little bit this year,” campaign co-chair Gary Minnick said over a YouTube video. “Normally we’d be meeting at breakfast as we all prepare to go out and help our local nonprofit organization by doing over 30 different projects all over our community.”
Instead, co-chair Amanda Garlock asked people to help the people in their lives.
“We thought what better way to encourage our community than to do random acts of caring, to spread a little happiness in our community in the coming days,” Garlock said. “We’re encouraging everyone to do at least one act of caring. … Even the smallest acts can make an enormous difference in someone’s life.”
The organization asked people to share their actions on social media with the hashtag ActsOfCaring2020. Minnick suggested tasks ranging from bringing cookies to a neighbor, sending a card to someone you know struggling, buying a lunch or coffee for the next person in the drive-thru lane all the way up to buying groceries for a friend who lost a job.
The United Way of Greater Lima partnered with Procter & Gamble, Mercy Health, the Ohio National Guard and the West Ohio Food Bank to distribute more than 1,300 gallons of hand sanitizer to schools in Allen County. P&G started producing hand sanitizer once the coronavirus outbreak hit.
The United Way of Greater Lima also kicked off its annual giving campaign. The goal is set for $1.6 million, with $140,000 already raised by early campaigns at Perry proTech, Spherion Staffing, Webb Insurance and the United Way partners. This year’s campaign slogan is “Better Together,” which United Way of Greater Lima President and CEO Derek Stemen said he “didn’t think we could’ve come up with a better or more fitting slogan to use this year.”
“This year has been a challenging year for all of us,” Stemen said. “You know, I’ve found that tough times have a way of revealing the true character of individuals and in turn communities.”