Charlotte Motor Speedway’s third annual Day of Service may have looked and felt a little different in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but the passion to serve the community remained. On Wednesday, more than 75 volunteers from the legendary entertainment venue rolled up their sleeves in support of the Cabarrus County Parks & Recreation department, Cabarrus Meals on Wheels and OneBlood/Atrium Health, among other organizations.
“We’ve been serving the community for 60 years,” said Greg Walter, executive vice president and general manager at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “This is a focal point for us. It’s in our DNA to serve our community and our team really thrives on doing that… (This year) just took a little creativity.”
As part of the speedway’s Day of Service, nearly two dozen volunteers helped with site beautification and grounds keeping at Frank Liske Park. More than 175 donors, including many from the speedway family, signed up to donate blood as part of a day-long drive at the speedway in partnership with OneBlood and Atrium Health. Through Cabarrus Meals on Wheels, volunteers delivered more than 100 meals to families in need across Cabarrus County.
Without volunteers like those from Charlotte Motor Speedway, organizations like Cabarrus Meals on Wheels, which has seen a significant increase in client need since the pandemic began in March, would have a difficult time keeping up.
“This year has been an incredibly difficult and challenging year for everyone,” said Kimberly Strong, executive director of Cabarrus Meals on Wheels. “We’re one of the few programs across the state of North Carolina that has been able to continue a daily meal delivery… We need volunteers. Every day we are here. Many of our regular volunteers have been unable to come back, so we need volunteers every day.”
This year marked the third consecutive year the speedway has dedicated a day to service, but giving back is nothing new at America’s Home for Racing.
“It was interesting how staffed asked us, ‘what are we going to do this year?’ Walter said. “Even with all the restrictions, not being in the office – they were like, ‘what can we do to serve?’ This was a groundswell. The staff didn’t want to give up on that third time.”