Annual volunteer effort has major economic impact
April 23, 2013By Jenny Callison
A cadre of mobilized volunteers can make a sizeable difference in the community, even for only a four-hour effort.
That’s the report from Haskell Rhett, director of Leadership Wilmington, which completed its eighth annual Work on Wilmington project Saturday. Each year’s program participants plan and conduct a massive volunteer effort to make physical improvements to the facilities of nonprofit organizations and projects throughout the community.
While final numbers have not been calculated, Rhett said that estimates tell an impressive story.
About 1,800 volunteers – this year’s Leadership Wilmington class plus friends, family and other community residents – put in four hours of labor on a total of 24 projects. Using the Internal Revenue Service’s per-hour valuation of labor cost, which is slightly more than $21, Rhett explained, the value of labor donated by those volunteers exceeded $150,000.
Add in the value of the hours of site managers on each project and the time spent by Leadership Wilmington class participants in planning Work on Wilmington this year, and the total gets a significant bump, Rhett said.
In addition to the volunteer labor, there was more than $60,000 in donations and $85,000 in donated goods and services to the annual initiative. This year’s projects ranged from painting a building at the Cape Fear Literacy Council to helping ready the Coastal Therapeutic Riding Program’s new facility for opening. The latter project was adopted by University of North Carolina Wilmington chancellor Gary Miller and his wife. They were joined by about 100 UNCW students, while another 200 UNCW students participated in other Work on Wilmington activities.
Leadership Wilmington, sponsored by the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, takes place from September through April each year. It is currently soliciting applications for its 2013-14 class. Information is available by clicking here.