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Volunteers Needed for Annual Day of Caring

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/volunteers_7062.mp3

The annual Day of Caring, which is a community-wide day of volunteering organized by United Way, is just around the corner. Each year as many as 1,600 people of all ages participate in this event, but there is always a substantial need for more volunteers. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann spoke with organizers of the event and has this report.

This year’s Day of Caring is August 19th, and volunteers are still needed. Cindy Howell is a spokesperson with United Way of the Ozarks, and she says that this year’s event has more than 180 projects for volunteers to dig into. She says that such an opportunity is geared toward bringing people together, and to giving back to those organizations that do so much in the community.

"Annual Day of Caring is a volunteerism day in the community. It is basically where we gather projects from our partner agencies, and some other non-profit agencies, and volunteers from the community all gather together and go out into those projects. Volunteers may paint hallways, paint classrooms, pull weeds, or do all sorts of things." Howell said.

Howell says that the event is not all “work.” The day begins with a kick-off breakfast event at 7a.m. at Arc of the Ozarks, which not only provides pancakes, but a variety of fun activities as well.

"It's a great morning activity. We take pictures of all of the groups. It's just kind of a way to tie people together in the neighborhood and community. It connects all of those things our partner agencies do to make a better life for the people in our community." Howell said.

Howell says there are several ways people can get involved. She says this year’s projects are posted on their website, and volunteers can register directly on-line, or can contact the United Way office. Howell explains that one of the most important missions of this event is also to say “thank you” to the community.

"We just want to say a big 'thank you' because we don't get to say it enough, and it is such a wonderful day. We really appreciate all of our partners, as well as our sponsors, who really make Day of Caring happen."

Volunteers 16 years and older can participate, and younger children must be accompanied by a parent. Howell encourages parents to look over projects carefully since not all projects are manageable for littler ones. Click here for more information about the Annual Day of Caring. For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.