Usually, INB staff would gather together to pitch in or clean up. But on this year’s United Way Day of Action, the “together” part was missing, due to coronavirus concerns.

That didn’t stop us from helping, though.

United Way hosted a Virtual Day of Action last week, and INB employees organized efforts of collecting canned goods and making face masks to donate to those in need.

Several INB departments pitched in to collect 186 items of canned goods (pictured: John and Courtney Bryant, Jamie Stubbs, and Jenny Broughton). And INB’s Caeri Chiaro spent her spare time sewing dozens of masks to help protect community members.

sewing masks

This marks United Way’s 10th year of hosting Days of Action and INB’s 10th year of participating in these days of doing hard work for service agencies in our community. 

United Way typically holds these events in the spring and fall, and dozens of our employees show up each time to do whatever they’re asked to help with. Each project has shown us the importance of being in the trenches when it comes to community service – and this year was no exception, even though we couldn’t be physically together like we usually are.

“INB realized during this pandemic that the organizations that are funded by United Way are truly a backbone for the community in times like this,” says Jenni Snow, INB’s Human Resources Officer.

“Due to loss of jobs, businesses being closed down and schools having to switch to virtual learning, nonprofits and community organizations have been more critical than ever to help those in need. Many people are struggling right now and aren’t able to give back, so having employees collected canned goods or make face masks are simple ways we found that we can help in the community.”sewn masks

Previous years have brought activities like cutting down trees, washing windows, raking and trimming, cleaning trails, painting and much more. Past organizations we’ve assisted through United Way’s Day of Action include:

2010 – Senior Service Center and Youth Service Bureau

2011 – Girl Scouts of Central IL, Lutheran Child and Family Services & Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County

2012 – Family Service Center, SPARC & UCP

2013 – SPARC, Springfield Housing Authority neighborhood cleanup

2014 – Salvation Army on 9th Street, YMCA campgrounds at Lake Springfield

2015 – Henson Robinson Zoo

2016 – YMCA, Central Illinois Foodbank

2017 – Boys & Girls Club, GenH Kids

2018 – Springfield Audubon Society, Concordia Village Lutheran Senior Services

2019 – Girl Scouts of Central IL – Day at the Capitol, St. John’s Breadline