Day of Caring 2017

What is the Stephen E. Garner Day of Caring?

The Stephen E. Garner Day of Caring kicks off the annual United Way Community Campaign. It is a community-wide non-perishable food, personal care items, and school supplies drive to benefit local residents. Prior to the event individuals, groups, and businesses from across Tompkins County collect these essential items. On the Day of Caring these items are dropped off, sorted, and distributed to schools, pantries, and non-profits. All donations stay in Tompkins County. Thank you!

Who is Stephen E. Garner?

In 2006, the Day of Caring was named in honor of the late Stephen E. Garner, President & CEO of Tompkins Trust Company, who served as UWTC Campaign Chair and Board Chair.  Steve was an active and engaged leader who strongly believed in helping others. 


Poster 1

Poster 2


How do I become involved in Day of Caring?

  • Volunteer! Volunteers are needed during the Day of Caring to carry in donated items and sort them into boxes for distribution to local food pantries. Some lifting is required. Volunteers are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food, personal hygiene items, and school supplies.

  • Collect essential items! Prior the Day of Caring individuals and businesses collect non-perishable food, personal hygiene items, and school supplies. Donations can be dropped off at the Day of Caring.


2015 Day of Caring At a Glance 
Together, our generous community donated over 7,000 pounds of nonperishable food, personal care items, pet and school supplies to help people in our community through 18 local nonprofits. 
Thank you to the following organizations that helped make the 2014 Stephen E. Garner Day of Caring a BIG success: Bakers Acres, Better Housing for Tompkins County, Catholic Charities Tompkins/Tioga, Cayuga Medical Center, Cayuga Radio Group, The CBORD Group, CFCU Community Credit Union, Challenge Workforce Solutions, The Community Foundation of Tompkins County, Cornell University, Family and Children’s Service, Foodnet Meals on Wheels, Franziska Racker Center, Greater Ithaca Activities Center, The Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County, Indian Creek Farms, International Food Network, Ithaca Coffee Company, Lifelong, Littletree Orchards, Maguire Family of Dealerships, Moving Box Studios, OAR, Panera Bread, Salvation Army, Sciarabba Walker & Co. LLP, South Hill Business Campus, Taitem Engineering, Tompkins Trust Company, Wegmans, William Henry Miller Inn, and The YMCA of Ithaca & Tompkins County.

What Can I Bring to Donate Next Year

Non-Perishable Food Items

• Canned fruit and fruit juices
• Canned meats including tuna and stews  
• One-box meals
• Macaroni & cheese
• Instant potatoes
• Beverages (coffee, tea, canned milk)
• Pasta & spaghetti sauce
• Soups, boxes of crackers
• Peanut butter & jelly
• Canned vegetables
• Brownie & cake mixes
• Bottled water, juice boxes 
Personal Care, Household and Pet Items
• Diapers – sizes 3, 4, 5 and 6
• Liquid laundry detergent
• 30-gallon trash bags
• Shampoo & conditioner 
• Bar soap, deodorants
• Toilet paper, paper towels, tissue
• Feminine products
• Toothbrushes, toothpaste, 
• Dental floss
• Cleaning supplies
• Pet food
School Supplies
• Notebooks
• Pencils/Pens
• Backpacks
• Crayons
• Markers
• Rulers
• Binders
• Wide-ruled Paper
• Art Supplies