Destin, 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 19th, 2014 during the Destin/South Walton Day of Caring. Day of Caring began Friday, September 12th with Ft Walton Beach Day of Caring, then with Destin/South Walton Day of Caring concluding 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. Yvonne and Mike Freeman co-chaired the Destin/South Walton Day of Caring and invited Mayor Mel Ponder to read the City’s Proclamation declaring September 19th as Destin Day of Caring. Whataburger sponsored a taquito breakfast to get everyone started then volunteers gathered back at the Destin Community Center, after working throughout the community, for a delicious cook-out of hot dogs and hamburgers grilled by our favorite chefs for many years, the Destin Rotary Club.

Over 200 volunteers from the Destin/South Walton community donated their time and efforts to help 14 non-profit agencies with 16 projects ranging from painting and landscaping to interacting with clients to building a bench …all making an immediate and positive impact to the Destin/South Walton area.

Volunteers who participated in the Destin/South Walton Day of Caring came from these organizations: Carr, Riggs & Ingram, Coastal Bank and Trust, Community Bank-Coast, FedEx Ground, Gulf Power Company, Hancock Bank, Hilton Sandestin Beach, Hurlburt Field, InDyne, Okaloosa County, Payless Shoes, Publix Stores in Grand, South Walton and Watercolor, Regions Bank, ResortQuest by Wyndham, Sacred Heart Hospital-EC, Southern Vacation Rentals, Target-Destin, Trustmark and 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!