Day of Caring turns into Virtual Week of Caring

Published 5:56 am Wednesday, November 4, 2020

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By Dawn Burleigh

COVID-19 required United Way of Orange County to think outside the box to ensure a Day of Caring happened this year. Several of the partner agencies were forced to cancel annual fundraisers due to the pandemic and are still trying to meet the needs of the community with a smaller budget.

“With safety concerns regarding COVID-19, we have converted our Day of Caring to a virtual format,” President and CEO Maureen McAllister said. “We are asking participants to choose a project and work on those at your home or business.”

The week of November 16th, United Way will visit with all of the participating agencies to make the deliveries.  You or a representative from your company can join in the delivery, drop the items off to United Way prior to delivery, or have the agency pick them up.

“We ask that you register by November 6 so that we can be sure no agency is left out,” McAllister said.

You can complete your registration online at visit or email the form to

The projects for the partner agencies are:

Anayat House – Help us provide complimentary snacks for our guests by providing individually wrapped snacks for the guests to be placed in their rooms to encourage social distancing.

Crisis Center of Southeast Texas – Help us provide hospital room essentials to women we meet at the hospital after traumatic encounters by providing NEW items for women including socks, underwear, sports bras, plain t-shirts, and leggings and/or NEW items for men including socks, underwear, t-shirts, and light weight pants.

Jackson Community Center – Help us keep our kids safe with COVID-19 precautions by providing FUN masks for the students in our program.

Salvation Army – Help us provide Homeless Survival Backpacks.  This project would consist of creating backpacks that we can keep on hand for when we deal with individuals who are displaced and living outside in the elements.  You can put together backpacks or provide supplies for them.  Suggested supplies include backpack, toothbrush, toothpaste, bar soap, hairbrush or comb, package of baby wipes, pair of socks, stocking cap, gloves, 1 or 2 bottles of water, Gatorade bottle or juice bottle, snacks & foods that are single serving (packaged and easy to eat without having a kitchen or can opener).  *Please consider the weight of the packs when they are being put together.

Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club – Help us provide fun projects for the kids by providing Arts and Craft Kits which come with easy instructions and everything they need to do the craft at home.  It would be great if there are some Christmas kits.

Shorkey Center – Help us provide soothing items for our special kids by providing weighted stuff animals or kid friendly ice packs. You can make weighted stuffed animals.  Some stuff the belly, some stuff the arms.  Learn how at  You can also make kid friendly ice packs, with or without gel beads.  Learn how at

Southeast Texas Hospice – Help us bring a smile to the face of our patients by providing hospice cards like thinking of you or holiday cards.

Stable-Spirit – Help us provide horse-related books, horse coloring books, and small to medium horse statues and stuffed horses for our clients.  Clients age ranges 5-8, 9-11, 12-14, 15-18, and adults.

YMCA of Southeast Texas – Help us educate our Y students as we offer Virtual Career Days for the kids in our afterschool and Virtual learning programs.  The idea would be to Zoom with professionals from different companies or even have different people from different areas of the same company talk about what they do and allow the kids to ask questions for an interactive experience.