Serving unmet needs: Area volunteers completed service projects across Union County

ATI Specialty Materials was a significant corporate sponsor to the Day of Caring. Their employees came together to help various agencies and individuals around Union County.  All Photos courtesy of United Way of Central Carolinas- Union County Office

ATI Specialty Materials was a significant corporate sponsor to the Day of Caring. Their employees came together to help various agencies and individuals around Union County. Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Carolinas- Union County Office

Area community members came together to serve the unmet needs of Union County this weekend through a day of compassion.
United Way of Central Carolina hosted its local campaign, Day of Caring, on Saturday, Aug. 23 throughout the county. It’s the 22nd year of the campaign and this is the biggest Day of Caring celebration in the state, according to Richard Heins, regional vice president of county operations for United Way of Central Carolinas.
More than 1,200 volunteers completed approximately 132 service projects at various agencies, nonprofit child care centers and homes of the disabled and elderly. Most projects involved outdoor work, including light painting, pressure washing, mowing, weeding, pruning and other yard work.
“The residents of Union County have a long tradition of not only giving back, but rolling up our sleeves and lifting up our local neighbors,” Heins said in a news release. “It’s tremendously rewarding, and we always have a lot of fun with it too. There’s no better example of ‘Living United’ than how these wonderful volunteers come together every year.”
Heins said homeowners and agencies were impressed with what the volunteers accomplished, while the enthusiasm the volunteers had to help others stood out to him.
“We hope the volunteers had a really good understanding that there are a lot of needs in our community that go unmet, typically people who don’t ask for help,” Heins said.
Various businesses, civic groups, individuals and families participated with the hope of participating next year.
“When you see the magnitude, with over 1,200 volunteers, it shows that the community wants to respond to the needs of the community,” the regional vice president said.
Heins credits Michael Jordan of Carolinas Medical Center-Union, the event chair, as well as the event committee, for the successful day. Jordan has been involved in the event for over eight years, chaired the event for six and has seen it grow in participation throughout the years.
The campaign has helped over 30,000 individuals in Union County, particularly the elderly, he added.
“It’s a great way to give back to those who helped us while we were growing,” Jordan said about helping the county’s elderly population.
He hopes to encourage more people to participate in the event and extend the day’s reach over the county.
“The more that I can get to do this, the more impact we can make,” Jordan said.
The event has helped sparked additional humanitarianism as Wingate University will have 320 students, faculty and administrators host their own day of caring to further the efforts of the United Way of Central Carolina.
“It shows how just with a little assistance, the difference we can make in our community,” Heins said.
The event had multiple corporate sponsors including ATI Specialty Materials, Carolina Medical Center-Union, Bob Mayberry Hyundai, Autumn Care, Piedmont Natural Gas and Tyson Foods.
The event also sparks the United Way’s giving campaign where the organization collects fiscal donations to help the individuals of Union County, Jordan said, who hopes the momentum from the physical efforts transfers to monetary efforts.
“Union County is blessed with wonderful board leaders, committed local companies, great
United Way agencies, and most of all, passionate donors,” said Jane McIntyre, executive director of the United Way of Central Carolinas, said in a news release earlier this year.
Individuals who wish to help or donate can call 704-283-1537 or go to www.uwcentralcarolinas.org.

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Courtney Schultz

About Courtney Schultz

Courtney Schultz is a recent college graduate from Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C. She has both a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Political Science. At Campbell, she was the editor-in-chief of the university’s student newspaper for nearly three years and worked for the Siskey YMCA in their membership services and marketing department. She mostly covers education news for the Matthews, Mint-Hill, and greater Charlotte areas.

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