Day of Action Volunteers Build Community

United Way of 1000 Lakes brought back its Day of Action event on Monday, June 21st, bringing together more than 75 volunteers to complete projects in downtown Bovey. Projects ranged from mulching and painting to landscape installation, touching public spaces and landmarks as well as businesses and homeowners.

MDI employees teamed up to revitalize parks and landmarks in downtown Bovey for United Way’s 2021 Day of Action.

“It’s no small thing the volunteers are doing for our community,” said Bovey Mayor Robert Stein. “[Day of Action] shows that anything can be accomplished when people work together.”

While Day of Action is an international event for United Way chapters worldwide, this marked the ninth annual for the local United Way. The organization credits collaboration as the key to the program’s success and its ability to make significant impacts each year. This year’s partners included the City of Bovey, Beautiful Bovey, Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA), and Itasca County Habitat for Humanity. 

Volunteer groups from various Itasca-area employers, like Northland Counseling Center, pictured, spent Day of Action helping out in downtown Bovey.

One project site was at Tavern on the Range, where a group of volunteers spent the day working alongside its owners, who opened the restaurant amid the pandemic.

“I’m so grateful to have a community of people who are willing to take out of their own lives to add value to local businesses,” said Kat Roush, owner of Tavern on the Range. “[Volunteers] helped update and add curb appeal to my business – all in one short day!”

Other sites included Bovey City Hall, a community playground, city welcome signs, and more.

Volunteers from the Greenway Boys & Girls Club helped plant flowers in downtown Bovey.

In recent years, the volunteer initiative has focused on revitalizing small cities and neighborhoods in the greater Itasca area, with host sites including Coleraine, Grand Rapids’ Oakland Addition neighborhood, and Deer River.

Volunteers helped a homeowner with landscaping projects through Habitat for Humanity’s Home Preservation program.

Though Day of Action is the largest single-day volunteer initiative of United Way, the organization engages community members year-round through various community events and individual projects. Groups or individuals looking to become more engaged in service projects are encouraged to visit Bonfire, the Itasca area’s online volunteer platform, at

Individuals, organizations, and leaders in the Itasca area interested in hosting or becoming involved in Day of Action or another volunteer project are invited to learn more at or get in touch with United Way at 218-999-7570 or