United Way Day of Caring Benefits OCO Group Homes
More than 40 volunteers and several local businesses donated their time and talents and displayed the true spirit of the United Way’s “Day of Caring” this year, demonstrating that volunteerism generates positive relationships between businesses, human service agencies, and community members.
The United Way of Greater Oswego County collaborated with Rich Burritt of Burritt Motors, and a host of other businesses, to make it a true “Days of Caring” event as Burritt spearheaded a project that consisted of two days of work and helped to beautify two of Oswego County Opportunities’ Individualized Residential Alternative homes in Oswego. OCO provides residents with oversight and support so that individuals with developmental disabilities are able to live and prosper in their community. Individuals have the opportunity to gain independence with everyday living skills, such as cooking and maintaining a home, as well as accessing community resources. The home is one of several that are operated by OCO. These homes serve as a permanent home for individuals with a developmental or other intellectual disability.
“They did an outstanding job,” said Michelle Canfield, Director of OCO Developmentally Disabled Services. “The group spent the entire day at each location. They worked hard removing bushes, trimming trees, landscaping the front of the houses, power washing the house and roof and painting the exterior. They also painted picnic tables and repaired and painted our decks. One residence even received a new gas grill and picnic table courtesy of Burritt Motors. I can’t thank Rich and everyone involved enough for all that they did. None of this would have been possible if not for the generosity of Burritt Motors and the United Way of Greater Oswego County.”
“It’s wonderful to have the community involved and showing interest in our program and the positive impact it has on the individuals we serve”, continued Canfield. “I am thankful Rich reached out to us as a way to give back to the community. Rich was a classmate of an individual we provide support to and I am so pleased that he chose to support us. These projects were greatly appreciated by the individuals who live at the homes, some of which, along with family members, helped out as well. They take great pride in their home and are so happy with all the improvements that were made. I think everyone involved was amazed with how much could be done in one day when many hands work together.”
While volunteers made up the workforce, it was the generosity of several local businesses, including Enwright Roofing, Ontario Orchards, Eagle Beverage, Lindsey Aggregates, Inc., and Burke’s Home Center, that supplied materials and supported the project that help make it possible. “We received outstanding support from businesses that went above and beyond in making these Day of Caring projects possible,” said Burritt. In addition the City of Oswego was there to remove the debris from the trees and bushes.
“This year’s Day of Caring is a perfect example of what we can accomplish when we all work together, from donating paint to trimming shrubbery. Whether it’s hammering nails, raking leaves or repairing a deck, everyone has something to contribute, a way to show that they care. And just look at all those smiles! There’s no better proof of success,” said OCO Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier.
“We are grateful to have a network of generous companies that give back to the community in their own ways throughout the entire year,” said United Way Executive Director Patrick Dewine. “Having the opportunity to collaborate with Rich Burritt and his team from Burritt Motors to improve the aesthetics of this adult group home is a testament to the generosity and level of caring our community business leaders provide to our neighbors. By bringing volunteers together to make a positive impact within our neighborhoods, a Day of Caring like this reinforces how we Live United, one project at a time.”
Here is a photo of volunteers, residents, and OCO employees who worked together during the Day of Caring.