NORWICH – The Chenango United Way wrapped up its annual ‘Day of Caring’ with a larger turnout than anticipated, giving needed hope to volunteers and charitable organizations throughout the community.
The United Way’s ‘Day of Caring’ is the kick-off for the organization’s fundraising campaign, preparing them to offer their services to various charitable organizations in 2012. Last Saturday’s primary focus was committed to raising money, voluntary labor and gathering donations for community members who are in need. According to Executive Director Elizabeth Monaco, this year’s event attracted numerous donations and volunteers who showed their commitment for the cause by contributing their time to the cleanup efforts around the area.
“The ‘Day of Caring’ is about gathering donations and working with volunteers,” said Monaco. “We match volunteers with individual projects.”
This year, Monaco said the organization was able to match 175 volunteers to 22 project sites around the area. Volunteers worked for half the day, cleaning leaves, brush and debris throughout the community.
“Going out and helping in the community is an important thing to me,” said volunteer Leslie Joscelyn. “My four-year-old son, Jakob, has special needs,” she explained. “It was especially important to me as Jakob’s role model ... Participating in this project not only helped Jakob on building his gross motor skills, but it also gave me the satisfaction of knowing I am doing good by giving back to my community.”
The success of the event is attributed to the efforts of all volunteers and donors, said Monaco. She said she believes one of this year’s greatest accomplishments was the increase of donated personal hygiene items collected throughout the day. Because these items are not commonly paid for through other means of assistance, the Chenango United Way has taken pride in collecting them.