Tomorrow is the Tulsa Area United Way’s 26th Day of Caring: a chance for more than 5,000 volunteers to fan out across the Tulsa area to work on approx. 350 community service projects.
It’s kind of a big deal — Tulsa has one of the oldest and largest Days of Caring in the country, which is yet another testament to why I always say “Tulsa has giving in its’ DNA.”
I was present at the very first Day of Caring, in 1991: my first year as a United Way volunteer with the University of Tulsa. I remember colleagues like Tristia Watson, Dennis Hudson, and others painting and sprucing up a group home.
Because my Karen worked for Domestic Violence Intervention Services, I recall one year where I was a project crew chief, riding herd over volunteers helping build what were essentially “set pieces” for the upcoming DVIS/Provider Medical Renaissance Fair. That project went WAY longer than one day…
Who knew that, way back then, I’d find myself still involved in Days of Caring all these years later? Granted, I had a few years off when I was in the Seattle area. But once I came back and joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma I was like Fredo Corleone: “they keep pulling me back IN!”
The past two years, as head of our IT operation, we’ve actually done our own Day of Caring inside the building: taking a work day when no one was in the building to rebuild and resolve problematic network issues. But all’s well this year; so I’m excited tomorrow to get back out there and take pictures and video of our volunteers all over town.
The video link enclosed is my 2012 video compilation which I’m most proud of.
Funny Story: 2012 was the year Chet Cadieux was our campaign chair, and the kickoff breakfast was held at Guthrie Green. We were the very first event to happen there, btw.
Since Chet was involved, QuikTrip provided all the breakfast pastries, and after the event was over there were TONS of muffins, cinnamon rolls, and whatnot. John Cory and I packed the boxes of pastries FLOOR TO CEILING in the back of my SUV and as we circled the city taking video we were also the “Pastry Fairies” — every Day of Caring site we visited got a box or two.
Maybe that’s why we got so many great smiling faces and great stories…