INDIANAPOLIS — United Way of Central Indiana is calling on Hoosiers to Go All IN and dedicate time to giving back to their community on Friday, June 24th.
"It really is a day of service for families, companies, any type of group that wants to get out there to really get to know the work that is happening and help be a part of that," Abbi Garvey, Community Engagement Manager of United Way of Central IN said.
More than 750 volunteers have signed up to help out organizations in the 7 county region United Way covers, but there are still opportunities available.
"They are the boots on the ground that are really serving the people who need it most," Garvey said. "So we want to do everything we can to give back and make our community stronger and support these organizations when they really need it."
The first Go All IN Day was held in September of 2021, as a way to support organizations that have continued to help out those in need throughout the pandemic.
One of the organizations that still needs volunteers for this year's event is Elephant Gardens LLC on the northeast side of Indianapolis. The organization operates two urban farms in Indianapolis as part of an effort to provide healthy produce to the community.
"What really gave us more of a sense of purpose and direction was when the Double 8 stores closed and they all closed in one day," Vivian Muhammad said.
Muhammad was born and raised on the northeast side, not far from where the urban farms are located near 33rd and Sherman Drive. She has seen stores, schools, and banks leave the area over the years.
"It's easier to get junk food, fast food, fattening food, food that is what they call empty calories," she said.
That is why she said providing healthy produce for the community is so important.
Aside from selling food from their mobile market, Elephant Gardens also has a youth program called Junior Master Gardner.
The six-week program for 9 to 12-year-olds begins in August at their Denny Street farm. That is where volunteers for the United Way's Go All IN Day will be helping Muhammad and her family get the land ready for the kids to learn.
"That's going to be vital to being able to get that program off the ground in August," Muhammad said.