“This day just brings people together,” said Regulated Materials Manager Saeid Rastegar. “It’s not often that everyone from our department has a chance to come together. I think this event is really positive and gives us all a chance to get together and do something we all have in common, something positive.”
To host the event, Facilities Services partnered with the U-District Partnership, which helped to coordinate with city departments and help find volunteer activities.
In the end, volunteers partnered with the University Heights Center to re-barkchip a playground, prep the interior for a children’s concert and other Halloween festivities, and level and build a new pathway at the University Heights P-Patch. Other volunteers picked up trash, scraped stickers, and reported graffiti along the Ave. Another group worked with SDOT to level tree pits along the Ave so they wouldn’t pose as much of a trip hazard. A final group washed windows at 40 businesses along the Ave.
“A crew came by today and did a great job at cleaning our windows,” said an employee of Davis Optical. “Very professionally done! Thanks again.”
When the owner of an abandoned business saw window washers clean his business windows, he said the cleaning will most likely help him lease out the space in record time.
“So many different people, older gentlemen, ladies, children, everyone stopped to thank us for helping to make [the U-Heights Community Center] beautiful,” said Rastegar. “I got so much feedback from people thanking me for what I was doing. I felt like we were creating a better image of us as Facilities Services and as a team together.”
This year’s volunteers were thankful for brief moments of sunshine; last year’s day of service coincided with the remants of a hurricane hitting the Northwest, complete with strong winds and soaked volunteers.
“The event was fun, the weather compliant, the food great, and the companions even better!” said Associate Director for Custodial Services Scott Spencer.
This year’s event was also the first time children were able to participate, allowing employees to bring their families to help out.
“It’s not always easy to find suitable ‘my size’ jobs for kids,” said Transportation Services’ Tam Kutzmark. “The tasks at U- Heights were ideal for engaging my son and giving him a chance to work hard and see results. Ray and his staff [at U-Heights] were great to work with and really helped make Jon feel proud of himself and valued by the team. We look forward to the next Day of Service.”