Question: What has 4,000 legs, uses more than 400 paint brushes, takes out the trash, and eats 2,000 ham and cheese sandwiches a day?

Answer: A team of 2,000 corporate volunteers doing their part to spruce up Dallas.

On June 3, employees from companies throughout Dallas will grab their rakes, hammers and trash bags for the third annual Business Volunteer Council Community Service Day, sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Dallas. Their goal? To make a significant difference in their communities through volunteer work.

Volunteers will restore and build playgrounds; till gardens and plant trees; sort food, supplies, and clothes; build wheelchair ramps; repair homes for the elderly and disabled; clean up neighborhoods and parks; and repaint nonprofit agency facilities.

“Community Service Day was created to motivate and set an example for corporate and individual volunteers,” says Julie Thomas, executive director of the Volunteer Center. “It’s amazing what these volunteers can accomplish in just one day.”

Last year, 2,000 people from 50 companies contributed more than 16,000 volunteer hours in a single day while completing projects for area nonprofit agencies.

Many volunteers painted and repaired 18 homes of low-income, elderly and disabled individuals. At Dallas Services for Visually Impaired Children, volunteers from Oryx Energy Company repainted a Touch Town playground for children. IBM employees provided the Dallas Black Dance Theatre with freshly painted administrative offices and practice rooms.

Other volunteers worked directly with clients at various agencies. Employees of Digital Equipment and the Greater Dallas Chamber entertained children at the Salvation Army with face painting and games, while others prepared sandwiches for residents.

For Community Service Day 1995, the Volunteer Center has collected project proposals from more than 50 nonprofit agencies. Companies can select projects from this list or plan their own. Groups that currently are working with nonprofit organizations can ask those agencies to help coordinate projects on June 3.

“We have opportunities available for both small and large groups of volunteers,” says Judy Ferguson, corporate projects coordinator at the Volunteer Center. “Companies can select projects which match the interests of their employees.”

Projects include:

  • A Fun Day for individuals with developmental disabilities. The day will include indoor and outdoor activities, clowns, face painting and games.
  • Plant shrubs and flowers at a residential home for children.
  • Sort and display clothing for a clothing distribution program.
  • Host a career expo for 20 South Dallas high school students.
  • Sort medical supplies for shipment to hospitals in developing nations.
  • Paint a mural in the cafeteria of a local elementary school.

“Volunteers enjoy Community Service Day because, in just one day, they see progress,” Ferguson says. “They see a run-down house become a home with a new coat of paint, or a mass of weeds and rocks become a beautiful garden.”

For a copy of the Community Service Day project list, or information on how to put together a volunteer team, call Judy Ferguson at 826-6767, extension 250.