More than 170 volunteers spent the day gardening, painting, trimming hedges, installing fences, building structures, and assembling care packages for the less fortunate across the region on Wednesday as part of the Charlotte Motor Speedway’s second annual Day of Service.
Sporting red pit crew shirts, speedway employees were joined by representatives of four sister companies – SMI Properties, the Performance Racing Network, U.S. Legends Cars International, and the zMax Dragway – in assisting area organizations and nonprofits complete various household tasks and outdoor projects.
Speedway employees spent the morning volunteering at a half-dozen facilities in Concord: the Church of God Children’s Home, a nonprofit group home; My Father’s House, an emergency shelter for families; Opportunity House, a multi-service ministry; Wings of Eagles Ranch, a nonprofit specializing in therapeutic horseback riding; Cooperative Christian Ministries, a network of food pantries that also offers crisis assistance and emergency housing; and Youth Villages, a nonprofit specializing in supporting children’s mental and behavior health.
Additionally, some partnered with Purple Heart Homes, a public charity that provides housing for disabled and aging veterans, to build a wheelchair ramp for a veteran in Concord.
Volunteers with SMI Properties, meanwhile, assembled 400 care kits for the less fortunate, while others educated almost 100 children from the Boys and Girls Club of Concord as part of the speedway’s STEM Experience at zMax Dragway.
“Charlotte Motor Speedway is about working for our fans and for our community,” Charlotte Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Greg Walter said. “We’ve added another 50 people to participate this year, so the wake that we’re making has been much larger.
He added that so many lined up to volunteer that a considerable challenge was making sure they had enough staff to manage the different businesses for the day. Those who stayed behind ended up making hygiene kits and stuffing backpacks, Mr. Walter said.
Volunteers began working as early as 7 a.m. at some locations. The effort represented more than 2,000 volunteer hours from planning to execution, according to officials.
“We are a completely volunteer-run organization, so without volunteers we wouldn’t survive,” said Christine Cronin, the founder of Wings of Eagles Ranch. “People at the speedway have done so much for us today. The magnitude is immense.”