RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — The United Way is a popular way for people to give back to their communities by supporting local charities.
We often do that through financial donations, but donating our time can be just as beneficial.
September was the Month of Caring for the United Way of the Black Hills, and Rapid City did not disappoint.
“Volunteering is an important aspect of what we do as human beings. Because it’s us giving back, and making the greatest impact by being able to give back with just our time,” BH United Way Executive Director John Cass said.
Organizations, including the Army National Guard, gave their time during the month.
“It means a lot because I’ve done this for probably 8 to 9 years now and getting teammates together and getting all the different areas together because Camp Rapid is such a large organization with different areas and getting us out here to help the community just means a lot. And having the leadership support it, it’s a good deal,” Army National Guard Representative Devere Pearson said.
The goal of their project was to cut down on the erosion happening on a hill that was pushing soot down onto the roads.
“We brought in waddles, they are canvas-filled bags with wood chips, to kind of alleviate that and stake them down. I thought we did about 7,000 feet worth of waddles which was quite a bit and a lot of work, but luckily we had enough people to do it,” Pearson said.
Rapid City continues to be the type of community that’s consistently giving back. Working with United Way during the Month of Giving in September, over 800 people participated, including over 60 different groups and businesses, taking part in various activities across the city.
City departments also got together to help out local churches in the community.
“We’ve been very involved with the United Way Day of Caring, and for us, it’s just a way we can get back into the community and connect with the people that we serve. And I cannot think of a better way to spend the afternoon on a beautiful day serving and pulling some weeds,” Chief of Police Don Hedrick said.
Those with the city are always looking for new ways to help out and give back.
“You know I think it’s a great way to serve our community, a great way to be involved. It’s a great way to get out there and show that you care, help those in need and there’s lots of opportunity in our community to help out,” Hedrick said.
The United Way sees an increase in volunteering during September’s Month of Caring, but they encourage everyone to help year-round.
“They could be one person who shows that they’re doing everything, so to have volunteers come and say, hey I’m going to help you out. And that’s why I like to say not even just the month of caring here in September but throughout the year we have non-profit needs,” Cass said.
Just two hours of your time, four times a year can make a major impact.
If you would like to see how you can help out your community through United Way, you can find out here.