United Way plans Day of Caring

Monday, August 3, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- The United Way of Putnam County is looking for both volunteers and community projects for its Aug. 28 Day of Caring.

This annual event follows the agency's kick-off breakfast that same day at 7:30 a.m. It is a mobilization of volunteers to celebrate the spirit of giving through service by providing a day of volunteer opportunities which impact the entire community.

Anyone who has a project they need help with can contact the United Way. First priority will be given to any projects for United Way agencies, but other folks can apply for help.

Putnam County United Way Director David English is hoping to add projects from other communities in the county such as Bainbridge, Roachdale, Russellville, Reelsville, Cloverdale and Fillmore.

"This agency is the Putnam County United Way. We service everyone in the county, not just those who live in the Greencastle area," explained English.

"Our county is so heavily invested in the automobile industry and that means needs are greater here. Families from all around need help. The United Way is only as strong as the community makes it," he added.

Last year, groups helped clean and organize the Red Cross building at the county fairgrounds, build a play area at Big Walnut Sports Park and clean Johnson Nichols Clinic and several other projects.

Anyone can participate as a volunteer. Businesses, employee groups from local corporations, church and youth groups, as well as civic and philanthropic groups are welcome to join the event.

"No matter what your interest or skills, there is an opportunity for you to get involved. Projects may include painting a room, cleaning out a flowerbed or sorting canned food," said English.

The day begins with volunteers gathering at the Walden Inn and Conference Center at 7:30 a.m. for the Annual United Way of Putnam County Kick-Off Breakfast. This year's featured speaker is State Representative Nancy Michael, who will talk about being a community leader and the needs of the Putnam County community.

"Day of Caring gives volunteers a firsthand look at services provided by local organizations and how they impact people's lives. It also showcases the community's volunteer efforts and promotes the spirit of caring," said English.

By 9:30 a.m. volunteers will be ready to report to their work groups.

"This is an opportunity for many local organizations to get help with much needed volunteer assistance," said English.

The United Way is looking to increase its goal this year. Three pacesetters have already started early campaigns at their businesses. Old National Bank, National City Bank and Wal-Mart have all run early campaigns and have increased pledges.

"In fact, National City Bank has 100 percent employee participation. I'm really pleased with our pacesetters this year. They have really stepped up," said English. "

For information, to ask for help with a project, to volunteer or RSVP to the breakfast, call the United Way at 653-5638 or e-mail unitedway@airhop.com

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