Taking action: United Way extends Acton-Boxborough community event to a week

By Patty Mahoney / pmahoney@wickedlocal.com

Posted Sep 18, 2020 at 3:17 PM

Acton-Boxborough United Way’s annual Day of Caring has been transformed this year into an entire Week of Action, featuring various and creative ways to give back to the community.

The annual Day of Caring was traditionally about matching nonprofits with corporate teams for a single day of service opportunities. This year the event has broadened its reach to include individuals and families who are invited to engage in a full week of service opportunities as well.

“We got creative this year as everyone is having to do with everything given the new reality so we have remote and in-person opportunities,” said Katie Neville, Communications and Volunteer Engagement Manager for A-B United Way.

The Week of Action, which includes a wide range of opportunities for both young and old, kicks off on Monday, Sept. 21 and runs through Sept. 27.

“We have people writing letters to seniors which we will with our community partners be distributing as we enter the winter months and isolation starts to sink in again,” she said.

Spanish classes at ABRHS are also getting involved during these uncertain times by writing messages of hope for Spanish speaking seniors in the community.

Other volunteer opportunities include food and school supply drives, neighborhood clean-ups, assembling art kits for group home residents at Minuteman Arc and scooping ice cream at drive-thru events for seniors in both Acton and Boxborough.

The A-B United Way is particularly excited to introduce an event created in partnership with the West Acton Merchants Association. The event, called Chalk the Walk for Racial Justice, invites the public to reserve a square on the sidewalk in West Acton for $25 and create chalk art reflecting themes of inclusivity, diversity, and love.

Registered participants will receive an email with information on where to pick up the chalk and a map of the designated sidewalk squares.

“We’re hoping it will be a great creative platform for sharing with one another and starting a bigger conversation as a community,” she said.

Neville said next week the A-B United Way will hold its member retreat where the focus will be on racial justice and how the organization will move that forward in the community.

“We recognize that this is going to require long-term commitment to real action and so we are committed to addressing local racial inequalities and it really is the core of what we fight for. We say we fight for the education, health, and financial stability of every person in the community.”

To register or learn more about the different service projects and to reserve a sidewalk square, visit https://sites.google.com/abuw.org/weekofaction.

Posted Sep 18, 2020 at 3:17 PM