Ft. Walton Beach, FL – “Real People. Real Results.” This has been the driving idea behind United Way of Okaloosa & Walton Counties’ 2014 campaign, and it certainly held true on Friday, September 12th, 2014 during the Ft. Walton Beach Day of Caring and carried through Friday, September 19th with Destin Day of Caring ending this week-long community event.

Day of Caring is a mobilization of volunteers to celebrate the spirit of giving through service by providing a morning of meaningful volunteer opportunities to individuals of the community. Vicki Tarro and Josh Snellgrove of Fort Walton Beach Medical Center co-chaired the Fort Walton Beach Day of Caring as well as sponsoring the delicious breakfast from Chick-fil-A. Volunteers gathered, after working throughout the community, for a delicious cook-out at Liza Jackson Park for hamburgers and hot dogs from Publix and cooked by our favorite chefs for many years, the Niceville/Valparaiso Kiwanis.

Over 322 volunteers from the Ft Walton Beach community donated their time and efforts to help 21 non-profit agencies with 23 projects ranging from painting and landscaping to interacting with clients to packing up for a move or building a patio…all making an immediate and positive impact to the Ft Walton Beach area.

Volunteers who participated in the Ft Walton Beach Day of Caring came from these organizations: BBVA Compass Bank; Carr, Riggs & Ingram, City of Ft Walton Beach, Coastal Bank & Trust, Cox, First City Bank, FWB Medical Center, Gulf Power Co, Hurlburt Field, InDyne, Jacobs, Okaloosa Gas District, Payless Shoes, Publix Stores in Mary Esther, Miracle Strip & Eglin Pkwy, Regions Bank, ResortQuest by Wyndham, Sacred Heart Hospital-Emerald Coast, Shalimar United Methodist Church, Target-FWB, University of West FL-EC, White-Wilson Medical Center.

During the 2014 Days of Caring, over 840 volunteers worked together to help real people accomplish real results throughout Okaloosa & Walton Counties along with the Days of Caring generous sponsors: BBVA Compass, Beach Community Bank, Carr, Riggs & Ingram, CCB Community Bank, City of Destin, City of Ft Walton Beach, Community Bank-Coast, Cox, CHELCO, Eglin Federal Credit Union, FedEx Ground, Florida Transformer, Ft Walton Beach Medical Center, GFWC Woman’s Club, Gulf Power Company, Hancock Bank, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, InDyne, Jacobs, Kiwanis Club-Niceville/Valparaiso, McLain’s Family Steakhouse, Newman-Dailey Resorts, Niceville/Valparaiso Rotary Club, North Okaloosa Medical Center, Publix Supermarkets, ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Rotary Club of Destin, Silver Sands Premium Outlets, Southern Vacation Rentals, Trustmark Bank, Twin Cities Hospital, Whataburger & White-Wilson Medical Center.

The United Way encouraged the use of a hashtag, #uwdayofcaring, through this five-day event on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Check out the fun!