Nearly 1,500 volunteer on Day of Caring

Aug. 24, 2013 @ 10:49 PM

The sun was shining and the weather was relatively mild for the 1,459 volunteers working at 136 projects sites for the 21st annual United Way Day of Caring Saturday. 

“Turnout is fantastic,” Richard Heins, United Way regional vice president, said. “Which speaks volumes of this county.”

The volunteers met at Belk Stadium at Wingate University before dispersing throughout the county, from Marshville to Matthews. Wingate University students, who are by-and-large moving in this weekend, will have a Bulldog day of caring next weekend. 

Heins said it amazed him how many volunteers were bringing their families and young children. He added that it is a blessing to give back. 

While other counties in the region have similar events, Heins said Union County’s Day of Caring is the largest event of its kind in the region. 

“We couldn’t do it without volunteers,” Heins said. “It truly is a volunteer-driven organization.” 

The annual event is also the kick-off for United Way’s annual campaign. 

Michael Jordan, the chairman of the Day of Caring Committee, was pleased with the increase in volunteers this weekend. Jordan, the imaging manager at Carolinas Medical Center-Union, has served as the chairman for the past three years. 

He said the day is about trying to get the community to do more. He added that it is a “blessing” to give and that every day you can give a blessing, you can receive a blessing in return. 

A group from South Piedmont Community College worked on a Habitat for Humanity home in Monroe. The home was built about seven years ago. 

Chris Newton, who works with Union Habitat, said they were expecting seven volunteers and got 14. 

“For the homeowner, it’s excellent for her,” Newton said. He said that without the volunteers the work would not get done. It would be up to the homeowner. 

Volunteers were fixing a wheelchair ramp, mowing the lawn, doing yardwork and other needed tasks. 

Colton Snodgrass, 17, came from Peachland in Anson County to volunteer. He is in the 12th grade at Anson County Early College and came through SPCC’s student government association. It was his first year attending. 

“I really enjoy it,” Snodgrass said. 

He said he loved that they could go there and “be a blessing” to someone. He added that it is not a job or a chore for him. 

That morning he had done a lot of weeding and cutting grass, he said. He plans to come back next year and continue volunteering. 

Next year’s Day of Caring will be held in late August.