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Making an Impact!

Work on Wilmington Project Day
Sat., April 20th
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.,
volunteer celebration to follow
www.workonwilmington.org

wow3With such a strong sense of involvement in our city, it’s easy to see why locals of Wilmington jump at the chance to give back to their community. On Saturday afternoon, April 20th, Work on Wilmington will hold its annual volunteer event, creating a project that works with friends and neighbors to leave a visible and lasting impact on the Port City. The organization has been a huge team player in helping clean, fix, build, paint and landscape our community.

Running from 8 a.m. to noon, Work on Wilmington (WOW) will uphold its belief that a lot of volunteers doing a little goes further than a few doing a lot. Projects that would normally take much longer than a day are completed in just half a day. With no cost to the citizens of Wilmington, Work on Wilmington seeks out donations of materials needed to complete their various projects. Following a successful model active in more than 50 cities nationwide, the organization seeks to energize the volunteer spirit in all of us.

The idea was first initiated seven years ago by the 2006 class of Leadership Wilmington, a committee of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. Their goal is to produce creative leaders for the community by encouraging and educating participants, and providing opportunities for these volunteer events. Once known as “Hands On Wilmington,” WOW has evolved not only in moniker but in its scope.

encore caught up with a member of the 2013 class of Leadership Wilmington, Craig Snow, who also works with the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, to talk about this year’s event.

encore (e): How, when, and why did you become involved with Hands on Wilmington? What’s your official role?
Craig Snow (CS): I’m a member of the 2013 class of Leadership Wilmington and serve on the press release committee.

e: Hearing from past folks you’ve helped, it seems WOW has done some pretty diverse jobs, from brick laying to painting to gardening. Where do you get all the materials? Any very dedicated donators in particular?
CS: We solicit donations from businesses and individuals in the community. All materials are purchased using cash donations or are donated by companies. All of our sponsors are available at www.workonwilmington.org/sponsors.asp.

e: Last year, WOW helped the CAPP Center and The Brigade Boys and Girls Club a tremendous amount. Any big projects that have already been selected for this year’s event?
CS: We have a list of about 26 projects and we may even add some additional projects if funding allows.

e: WOW is the city’s largest annual volunteer event, which has to be a great accomplishment to the whole organization. How many people have come out in the past and how many do you expect this year?
CS: We already have over 1,500 volunteers scheduled for this year. I believe the record number was over 2,000.

e: I know volunteers are encouraged to submit ideas for projects, so I’m sure there is an influx of them. How do you go about choosing which projects will be executed?

CS: We have a projects committee that takes all the submissions, does detailed site visits, evaluates the projects to make sure they fit our objective, and then choose based on the funds and volunteers we expect to have in place. Each Leadership Wilmington classmate heads up a project and then some of the corporate sponsors head up their own projects.

e: On April 20th, if folks haven’t already signed up, they can’t participate in WOW; is that correct?
CS: Volunteer sign-up is actually cut off [early in] April. I’m sure if someone just turned up at one of our projects, we wouldn’t kick them to the curb!

e: Which project(s) are you most proud of and that impacted you the most?
CS: I’ve worked on other projects in the past as a volunteer. This will be my first time to head up a project, so I’m excited about making an impact at the Cape Fear Literacy Council!

e: Will there be a meeting place before the event? How will volunteers know where to go/what to do on the day of the event?
CS: Volunteers will receive e-mails with all the information they need to show up and help.

e: After all the work is done at noon on April 20th, volunteers will get together to pat each other on the back. What all will be involved in the volunteer appreciation celebration?
CS: It’s a simple, fun celebration with food, beverages, music and just a sense of celebration. As you can imagine, [over] 1,500 folks can make a big difference in four hours. That needs to be celebrated!

e: What goals do you have set for 2013’s event? For the future of WOW?
CS: The primary focus is obviously getting the planned work completed in four hours. The results are important. Make an impact!
Those interested in participating in the event are encouraged to go to Work on Wilmington’s website at www.workonwilmington.org/volunteer.asp by April 5th.

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, 910tix.com. Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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