Lillie Price, a volunteer from FedEx, does garden work at a Franklin residence on Wednesday during the United Way of Johnson County’s Day of Caring. The daylong volunteer blitz served as the kickoff for the United Way’s annual campaign to raise money supporting 16 local agencies.


With a ton of sweat, elbow grease and positive attitude, an army of volunteers labored throughout the day Wednesday to make Johnson County a better place.

They spread mulch and weeded gardens, painted offices and assembled furniture. Some were sent to set up a youth hangout at the Salvation Army in Greenwood, while others sealed the asphalt parking lot at the Nineveh Area Senior Citizens Center.

At the home of a Franklin resident, a team from FedEx and Raymond James Financial Services was trimming bushes, doing landscaping and painting a fence.

“This just epitomizes the theme — Day of Caring. It’s what it is. The United Way cares about the community here in Johnson County, and supports the agencies. Companies come and volunteer and do a project of this,” said Brian Linder, a volunteer from Raymond James Financial Services.

The volunteers were part of a county-wide campaign of community service, in an effort dubbed the Day of Caring. More than 300 people from 31 organizations and businesses came together to help the United Way of Johnson County kick off its 2023-2024 campaign Wednesday.

They spread mulch and pulled weeds, painted offices, moved furniture, installed fencing, built playground equipment and did a myriad of other jobs at nonprofits and agencies around the county.

Their efforts were symbolic of the impact support of the United Way has year-round.

“We see every day the profound effect that all of you have in the community, each and every day,” said Dan Hampton, campaign chair for the United Way of Johnson County.

The Day of Caring has helped jump-start the United Way’s annual campaign for the past 27 years. Supporting companies from throughout the county provide volunteers to do work.

This year’s Day of Caring featured 334 volunteers spreading out to 26 sites around the county. They would be giving an estimated 2,624 hours of time.

The service not only helps the agencies under the United Way umbrella, but also provides an easy way to allow employees to give to their neighbors in a meaningful way, said Dawn Bruce, a volunteer from Elements Financial and the Day of Caring chair.

“I want to emphasize the importance of the projects to these agencies. A majority of these agencies are small nonprofits who don’t have large staffs. If they want something done, they have to do it themselves,” she said. “That can be difficult, as all of our agencies are seeing a greater demand.”

But before their work could start, everyone had to fuel up to power through the day. The United Way gathered supporters and volunteers for breakfast and a frenetic morning program at the Garment Factory, led by emcee Amy Skirvin, owner of the Sweat Shop in Franklin.

Skirvin led the group in some simple chair yoga and stretching to get the blood moving, ramping up the energy level.

“I know you’re going to be working hard today, so I don’t want anyone to pull any muscles,” she said.

With a theme of “Nurturing Johnson County,” the program highlighted the ways supporters help the community grow and thrive.

“You nurture and grow Johnson County with your selfless acts of kindness and dedication to our community,” Skirvin said. “Whatever your role is with the United Way, whether you’re a volunteer, a donor, a staff member or a partner agency, you nurture Johnson County.”

Before adjourning to go to their respective assignments, attendees also had the first glimpse of the fundraising goal for this year’s campaign: $1,536,000. Last year, the United Way raised more than $1.47 million.

The campaign is the lifeblood of the United Way, generating 81% of the money used for programs that support youth, seniors, people at risk of homelessness and local families throughout Johnson County, among others in need. The United Way provides funding for 16 health and human service agencies and seven direct programs around the county, who would be unable to provide the services without that funding.

And that funding would be impossible without supporters such as those gathered for Day of Caring,

“Each year represents its own challenges to raise enough money. As you know, the last couple of years have been particularly challenging in all aspects of our lives. This year, we need all of you now more than ever to help us successfully meet our goal to support the community,” Hampton said.

After filling up with breakfast, hearing about the impact they’ll have on their community and doing some light stretching, the volunteers headed out to their assignments.

Elements Financial Federal Credit Union and JCPenney sent volunteers to the Baxter YMCA to wipe down tables, clean and do landscaping. Elks Lodge No. 1818 was assigned to paint the Book Barn at the Johnson County Public Library’s Franklin branch. A group from NSK Corporation, NSK Precision America and Ulta Beauty helped the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana get ready for an event at Camp Dellwood.

At Human Services Head Start, a team of 14 people from Indiana Members Credit Union spread mulch on the playground, power washed the building, painted inside and moved some appliances for agency staff.

The experience brought together people from all areas of the credit union’s staff — from information technology to executive leadership — to improve the community, said Mandy Emery, vice president of community involvement.

“We love to be a part of our community and show we care,” she said. “These people are hard workers, coming out and taking care of kids who otherwise might not be in such a great place. Any time we get the opportunity we can send some people out, we love to volunteer.”

The FedEx and Raymond James group had worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana to help one of its client families in Franklin with some outdoor projects. Volunteers knelt in the garden, pulling out dead plants and clearing weeds from the front garden.

Others raked up the leaves, sticks and other remains lying around. Three of the volunteers had paint rollers out to put a fresh coat of white on a fence.

“For us, it’s a way to come together as a community and as organizations supporting United Way. The United Way supports Big Brothers Big Sisters, which is very influential in the work they do. And then companies like FedEx and Raymond James come out into the community to support these projects,” Linder said.


United Way of Johnson County 2023-2024 campaign

What: An effort to raise money supporting agencies and programs benefitting throughout the community.

Goal: $1,536,000

Raised last year: $1,476,974

Agencies supported by the United Way: 16

Programs supported by the United Way: Seven

How to help: Go to