While many people were just waking up on Saturday morning, 350 volunteers were hard at work completing projects across Anson County during United Way Day of Caring.
The teams from a combination of businesses, organizations and churches were spread across Anson County cutting grass, weeding flowerbeds, pruning shrubs, washing windows, removing limbs, and cleaning gutters at homes of the elderly and disabled. These hardworking volunteers completed 54 community service projects across the county making the event the largest to date.
The day began with a Day of Caring Kickoff at Wadesboro Town Square at 7:30 a.m. Kim Wilson, Day of Caring chair, thanked volunteers for being so enthusiastic about taking on numerous projects. “It is wonderful to see so many people up this early on a Saturday morning excited about making a difference in this community; with many of you taking on multiple projects,” Wilson said. “Thank you for your dedication!”
Local Boy Scout troops lead the Pledge of Allegiance. The highlight of the kickoff celebration was the bright-eyed, enthusiastic Thursday’s Child Choir singing “Lend a Helping Hand” as a send-off to the volunteers.
Wadesboro IGA, Burger King and Anson Bank & Trust provided breakfast for volunteers and H.W. Little & Co. provided supplies for the signs.
After the kickoff, teams got to work at their predetermined project sites.
“We use this event as a team building exercise. It’s not very often we get a chance to bring our families and spend time together outside of work,” said Dana Maness from Anson Bank & Trust.“It’s a great event and we look forward to it every year.”
Other Day of Caring teams included Anson High Cheerleaders, Anson Community Hospital, Anson High Interact Club, Pee Dee Baptist Church, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Team Elizabeth, ESA for Elizabeth, Fairview Church of God Youth, CMH Space Flooring, Rocky River Baptist Church, The Gibson Family, Wadesboro Rotary Club, Hornwood, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, NCPTA, Anson New Tech High School, Peachland United Methodist Church, Backwoods Hog Hunters, Plank Road Forestry, Anson County Partnership for Children (TIPS), and Anson High School Civics and Economics Class.
United Way partnered with First Baptist Church to combine Day of Caring and the church’s mission day. As part of Day of Caring, the First Baptist Men built ramps for senior citizens, and other church members and youth sent meals to shut-ins and made cookies to send to troops. The church also provided lunch at the end of the day for all the Day of Caring volunteers.
The Day of Caring is the official kick-off for the United Way of Central Carolina’s annual campaign in Anson County. Last year, $77,000 was allocated to 10 partner agencies: Feed My Lambs, Helping Our Loved ones Learn and Achieve (HOLLA!), American Red Cross, Hornets’ Nest Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts of America, Anson County Partnership for Children, Anson Community Hospital diabetes education, Anson County Domestic Violence Coalition, Anson County 4H Youth Promise. Each of the organizations addresses one (or more) of the basic building blocks of a better life — education, financial stability, and health.
“Day of Caring is an excellent way to kick off the campaign. Volunteers visit project sites and are able to see the real need in our community and as well see the difference United Way makes in the community,” Lula Jackson, chair of the United Way Board of Directors explained. “Every dollar of the money raised in Anson County through United Way stays in our county, making a real difference to those in need here, where we live.”
In addition to the community projects, 817 pounds of food were also donated for the Anson Crisis Ministry’s food pantry.