During the annual Day of Action, employees and guests set down blue and red boxes of little snugglers and overnite diapers and baby wipe packs throughout the back tables on the second floor of the United Way building. 

These items will go to support local agencies and youth. The collection was just one part of the Day of Action. Hannah Lathen, communication and marketing associate for United Way of Tarrant County, described the day as a way to rally the community to support those with their highest needs. 

Lathen has known of the great work that the United Way has done and it was one of the reasons she chose to work for the organization. 

“I thought it would just be an honor to get to work here with these people who are here every day trying to better the lives of people in Tarrant County and that’s something I wanted to be a part of,” Lathen said.  

The annual Day of Action takes place June 21, when the United Way of Tarrant County, in partnership with Southside Bank, celebrates the community and encourages residents to get involved with what’s happening in their own community. 

Victoria Walton with United Way of Tarrant County speaks with guests in attendance. (David Moreno | Fort Worth Report)

“It usually occurs on June 21 because that’s the longest day of the year and officially marks summer,” Victoria Walton, volunteer relations manager of United Way of Tarrant County, said.  “There’s all sorts of activities from outdoor activities, we’re doing a community collection drive but it could be reading to students at a school, it could be a variety of things.”

Projects such as card writing, creating bookmarks and the collection drive are available virtually as well.  

Day of Action collecting items/volunteering information 

  • Backpacks
  • School supplies 
  • Diapers
  • Baby wipes 
  • Personal hygiene items 
  • Food and gift items 

For more information on the Day of Action, and a complete list of recommended donation items, visit www.unitedwaytarrant.org/volunteer/ 

To donate: https://www.unitedwaytarrant.org/donate/

There will be a virtual opportunity for donations to be completed any time during this week. 

Those participating in the card-writing project write cards to veterans, teachers and older adults in the community that then get distributed to different nursing homes and long-term care facilities in Tarrant County. 

“For the older adults, it’s really kind of sad when you think about it because no one ever wants to wind up in a facility whether it be for memory care, or even if they’ve just had a hip replacement and they go into a rehabilitation center,” Walton said. “It just lets them know that there’s folks out in the community that acknowledge them and just want to brighten their day a little bit.”

The card-writing project was created with that acknowledgement in mind. Sometimes participants provide gift baskets with flowers, hand lotion, nail polish or other items special to them. 

United Way of Tarrant County are currently collecting fans for older adults in Sansom Park because a request came from the Sansom Park Fire Department. 

“They said they have individuals without air conditioning, without box fans, that are struggling in the heat and as you think about older adults that’s really horrible when they have COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), they’ve got asthma, they’re on medication,” Walton said. 

Wherever there is a need, United Way of Tarrant County tries to respond to it while trying to be diverse and inclusive when helping the community. 

They have a team called IDEAS that is specifically looking for diversity. They create projects for the community and are mindful of the different cultures in Fort Worth. 

“It’s important for us to be able to connect our staff and the community with those projects in IDEAS,” Walton said. 

The United Way of Tarrant County celebrating their annual Day of Action. The day supports local agencies, youth, older adults, and veterans through collection drives. (David Moreno | Fort Worth Report)

Leah King, president and CEO of United Way Tarrant County, has been engaged with United Way for more than 20 years and is a founding member of the Women United Group.

“I’ve been a donor, a volunteer on and off for decades and I care deeply about the organization and definitely am one for service,” King said. 

Day of Action is memorable to King because of how important it is that people understand the impact of their contribution, whether that is their time or their money. 

“When people can see and understand how their gift impacts the community, you can see it on their face and that’s my favorite thing to do,” King said. 

Fort Worth Report fellow Lonyae Coulter can be reached at lonyae.coulter@fortworthreport.org or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here

Editor’s note: This story has been updated.

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Lonyae Coulter

Lonyae Coulter is a junior at Texas Christian University. At TCU, Coulter is the Executive Editor for The Skiff (TCU360), the official student newspaper. She has also worked as a Page Designer and the...