The annual nation-wide United Way Day of Action is tomorrow, but the preparations for the community-wide event have been underway for weeks.

The organization will match participating nonprofits with motivated volunteers from local businesses and service groups who dedicate their time and effort to improve our community on the day, according to the United Way website. 

“We’re looking to have our biggest day ever,” said Jim Flatford, director of impact for United Way of Delaware County. “We’ve got about 268 people just from Ball State that are going to be volunteering throughout the day, so we really expect to see about 500 volunteers out on Sept. 7.”

This is the third year Ball State University has participated in the event. This year, President Geoffrey Mearns is offering his support to make this year the biggest in Ball State’s history.

“He really wanted to make it a whole university-wide event,” said Krista Flynn, program coordinator for the Office of Community Engagement. “We’ve invited alumni to participate and students to participate, and so the numbers have gone from around 12 to 25 to more than 250 people right now.”

On the Day of Action, students can participate in Ball State’s efforts: 

  • · Cardinal Greenway Clean-up
  • · Neighborhood Clean-up
  • · Elementary School Buddies
  • · Snack Pack Assembly
  • · Book Drive

One of the bigger Ball State partnerships is with Cardinal Greenway,  a 62-mile paved multi-surface trail used by more than 250,000 people each year.  Volunteers working with Cardinal Greenway can expect to clean up the trails and maintain the landscape in the area.

“We rely heavily on our volunteer support,” said Cardinal Greenway CEO Angie Pool. “With the miles we have, we could not keep the trail in the shape we do without volunteers.”

Volunteers will also install 15 signs which were designed for preschoolers.

“They’ll guide families and little ones to do interactions with nature and to really stop and listen to what’s around them and enjoy the outdoors,” Pool said.

Pool expects more than 100 Cardinal Greenway volunteers tomorrow.

“What’s really important to me is just for people to know more about these programs,” Flatford said. “Just having fun and making a difference in the community, and again, having those connections that last beyond the Day of Action.”

Additionally, those wishing to volunteer can join Muncie’s projects: 

  • · Bridges Community Services
  • · Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • · Boys and Girls Club of Muncie
  • · Red-Tail Land Conservatory
  • · United Day Care Center
  • · YMCA