GREENCASTLE--A sea of yellow shirts seemed to sweep over several areas of Putnam County as volunteers for the Putnam County United Way Day of Caring headed out for their assignments Friday morning.
The annual event follows the kick-off breakfast for the county's United Way campaign. Nearly 150 people attended the event held at the Walden Inn and half of that number took part in numerous projects around the county.
State Representative and Putnam County resident Nancy Michael was the keynote speaker at the breakfast.
"The day of caring is truly symbolic because that is what the United Way is all about," said Michael.
She told the crowd that in the current recession, the challenges are bigger and the losses greater in our community.
"It's overwhelming to me when I think about the needs of people in our community, but I am seeing signs of improvement. There will be a recovery and things will get better," she continued.
Her remarks included telling the room that every person in it was a leader.
"It comes down to what we are doing for others. It's making somebody be able to breathe a little bit easier," said Michael.
She concluded telling the room of volunteers that if every person in the county would give $5 per person, $10 per couple or $20 per family, the United Way goal for 2009 of raising $175,000 could happen.
"Your being here today is a reflection of our times. It is a good time to be alive and a perfect time to be involved," added Michael.
If the number of people in the room lending their support to the Day of Caring is any indication, the United Way will exceed its goal this year.
Following the breakfast, numerous groups and individuals donned their yellow t-shirts and headed out for the day.
A large crew from Wal-Mart spent the morning replacing the roof of a house on Avenue C in Greencastle that was part of an Opportunity Housing project.
Another group spread out over Big Walnut Sports Park and could be seen moving mulch, raking and planting in various sections of the park.
Other projects took place at the Putnam County Hospital, A-way Home, Hope Haven, Johnson Nichols Health Clinic, the Red Cross, Gobin Memorial Church, Peach Lutheran Church and the Family Youth & Community Development Center.
Other volunteers manned the registration table, passed out t-shirts to participants and delivered lunch and drinks to workers.
The United Way provides support to the American Red Cross, Wabash Valley Chapter, Area 7 Agency on Aging, A-way Home Shelter, Putnam County Family Support Services, Inc., Putnam County Youth Development Commission, Reading Improvement Center, Hope Haven Horse Farm, Johnson Nichols Health Clinic, Mental Health America, Putnam County Chaplaincy Association, Putnam County Comprehensive Services, Putnam County Council on the Aging and Aged, Summer Enrichment Program and the YMCA of Clay County.
"This is Putnam County's United Way, it can only be as strong as the people here make it. If today is any indication then we are well on our way to making our goal of $175,000 this year," said David English, executive director of the Putnam County United Way.
Individuals, organizations or businesses interested in helping the United Way meet its goal can contact English at 653-5638 or by email at email@example.com