Community-wide 316 Day of Caring will take place March 16

WICHITA, Kan., March 2, 2023 – March 16 (3/16) has been designated as a day to improve our community. All area residents are invited to actively participate. The new initiative is titled 316 Day of Caring and takes place on Thursday, March 16. The event name reflects both the area code, 316, where those who benefit and participate reside as well as the date abbreviation, 3/16.

Pete Najera, President and CEO of United Way of the Plains, said that the March 16 date is a logical day to focus on working together to help our neighbors and make the area more livable for everyone. “It’s a date that’s easy for everyone to remember. And this year it falls during spring break, so our younger residents can participate. We think it’s a meaningful way for everyone to give back to the community so that all our neighbors can thrive and meet their full potential.

“Establishing this new annual event is also one of the many ways we are celebrating 100 years of our organization partnering with other nonprofits to support the people of south-central Kansas. The activities we’ve put together don’t directly benefit United Way of the Plains but help five area nonprofits who need assistance to continue their important work. Our mission at United Way is to ensure that everyone thrives. We’ve been doing that for ten decades and we plan to continue doing it for another 100 years.”

United Way of the Plains has partnered with Wichita City Councilmember Bryan Frye to initiate this event. Frye was inspired by other cities doing similar community-wide days of caring and brought the idea to United Way. “Helping our neighbors should happen every day, but by highlighting efforts & resources on 3/16 is a fun, simple way to demonstrate it. We’re starting small this year with a few specific volunteer and donation opportunities, but we hope it continues to build in size and scope. Eventually, we’d like it to be a day that everyone in the area looks forward to annually. We also hope it promotes more engagement and pride in our city. It’s all about people helping other people.”

The event details are shown below:

316 Day of Caring
Thursday, March 16
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Century II, 225 W. Douglas
Hosted in the breezeway between Expo Hall and Convention Hall. Enter on the east side.

Everyone is welcome to participate in any or all these opportunities at the event location.

  • Donate blood. The American Red Cross is hosting a blood drive. Your donation helps ensure new moms, premature babies, cancer patients, and accident victims have access to safe, lifesaving blood. Sign up here in advance.
  • Donate hygiene items.
    Giving the Basics will have collection barrels for their most needed items: bar soap, shampoo, deodorant and toilet paper. Items will be distributed for free to local school children and adults in need throughout our community.
  • Donate nonperishable food items.
    Help restock the food pantry at United Methodist Open Door by donating mac & cheese, ramen and peanut butter.
  • Donate winter scarves, hats and mittens.
    The Salvation Army can use new or gently used items to keep our neighbors warm.
  • Buy cookies.
    March 16 is the last week of Girl Scout cookie sales. Support Girl Scout troop #40786 with your purchase.

The City of Wichita and United Way of the Plains have partnered to launch this annual 316 Day of Caring event.

Questions? Contact Amy Hawley, United Way of the Plains Volunteer Center Manager, at or (316) 267‑1321, ext. 4217.


MEDIA CONTACT: Angie Prather, Vice President of Marketing and Chief Community Engagement Officer, (316) 267‑1321, ext. 4105,

United Way of the Plains is a nonprofit and for-impact organization that focuses on health, education, financial stability and basic needs – the building blocks for a good quality of life and a strong community. Our mission is to improve lives by harnessing the caring power of our community to advance the common good in south central Kansas. Follow us on these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok.


Published On: March 1, 2023


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