MORE than 6,600 volunteers in 14 towns and cities across Slovakia combined as part of Our Town, or Naše Mesto, the biggest corporate volunteering event in Slovakia on June 13-14. Participating in around 500 public benefit activities, they improved public and school places or devoted their time to seniors or the disabled.

The event was organised by the Pontis Foundation, and a group of firms called Engage. The volunteers cleaned illegal junkyards, painted school desks and fences, renewed playgrounds and gardens of kindergartens and elementary schools and helped animal shelter workers.

“Many [volunteers] do so much work that non-profit organisations and their members would not make it a year [without them],” said Pontis spokeswoman Petra Nagyová, as quoted by the Sme daily.

Approximately 240 activities took place in Bratislava where, for example, volunteers collected dozens of bags of trash. Other cities and towns participating were Pezinok, Trnava, Šaľa, Galanta, Sereď, Nové Zámky, Partizánske, Prievidza, Poprad, Spišská Nová Ves, Liptovský Hrádok, Košice and Žilina.

In Galanta some volunteers went for a walk with pensioners from a retirement home and visited a local ranch with clients from the social service centre. Volunteers also cleaned a Jewish cemetery in the town of Spišská Nová Ves, helped with the renovation of several castles and cleaned the surroundings of Skalnaté pleso, a glacial mountain lake, according to Sme.

The popularity of the event could be seen right from the beginning of registration, according to Pontis representatives.

“Immediately after we launched the registration … 1,300 volunteers registered over a few hours,” said Lucia Borovská from Pontis, as cited by the SITA newswire.