Young Leaders Join Week of Caring Efforts

Every effort held meaning to the organizations.

Every volunteer gave time without complaint.

Every heart swelled with pride over the collaborative effort.

United Way Suncoast’s 30th annual Week of Caring teemed with dedication from volunteers and gratitude from the nonprofit recipients. UWS couldn’t be more pleased with how this regional volunteer initiative connected hands-on service with organizations and individuals in need.

“This was truly a team effort,” said UWS Community Engagement Director Autumn Pandolfo. “I’m humbled by the support of our amazing team and volunteers and grateful for their willingness to partner. We hope this week was just the start of deeper, transformational volunteer supports for our community.”

The celebration of community service inspired 490 volunteers to complete 53 projects for 26 organizations. The work extended to more than 1,100 hours, delivering a value of $31,736 to groups still grappling with the effects of the pandemic, spiraling inflation and pressing staff shortages.

The week took off at Tampa International Airport (TPA), where 2,000 participants rose on April 2 to join the 5K on the Runway. The generosity of the runners and TPA helped United Way Suncoast raise more than $80,000.

The volunteers who arrived at Feeding Tampa Bay on April 5 didn’t give blood or shed tears, but they put in a lot of sweat in unpacking and sorting donations. United Way Suncoast board members Robbie Artz (Tampa Bay Rays), Carl Harness (Hillsborough County Government), Michelle Grimsley (The Southern Group of Florida), Tabitha Roach (GTE Financial) and Matt Walker (Thomas Howell Ferguson CPAs; YLS Chair) joined UWS CEO Jessica Muroff and other staffers for the three-hour effort.

When asked why he volunteered, Matt says, “Week of Caring is important because it provides countless opportunities. Opportunities to make an impact in the community, opportunities to learn new skills, and opportunities to meet and help people. I had a great time this year volunteering with the UWS Board, sorting and packing food at Feeding Tampa Bay for those who need it most.”

Projects continued on April 6 and April 7, all leading up to a big weekend across the region.

We’re lucky and grateful that all of our volunteers continue to serve, not just for one week in April but throughout the entire year. If you are looking for additional ways to get involved, keep an eye out for upcoming Young Leaders/Women United quarterly volunteer opportunities or visit to see all the current individual and group projects.

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