Day of Caring 2013 ~ A Super Success !

Volunteers took on a variety of community service projects as part of the United Way of Whitley County’s Day of Caring Tuesday.  The day began with a breakfast for all volunteers at the Whitley County 4H Center @ 7:30 am and then everyone headed to their worksites by 8:30 am.

Whitley County’s Day of Caring came to fruition 10 years ago. The concept of giving back to communities was already in existence in neighboring counties when Star Financial Bank Market President David Smith thought to bring the day to Whitley County.  He asked fellow Leadership Whitley County classmates, a group devoted to raising up community leaders, if the day could be implemented here in Whitley County.

“With so much focus on raising funds through the United Way Campaign, it is nice to do something that involves a different type of giving back to our community,” said Cindy Baker, Executive Director of United Way of Whitley County. “After so many have given dollars to our campaign, this is our chance to return the favor and show our appreciation.”

Large-scale projects were underway at The Center for Whitley County Youth, B.A.B.E. Of Whitley County and Camp Whitley. Smaller groups took to the streets to remove wire basket hangers off street posts and to paint fire hydrants.

Students from the T.R.O.Y. Center worked on landscaping around The Lighthouse Interfaith Mission. Tania Keirn, the transitional home’s director, said the volunteers took care of projects her staff would be hard pressed to complete. “This would never have gotten done had these kids not been here today,” she said.  “We are just so busy taking care of everything else, projects like this just get put on the back burner. I am so grateful for their help today.”

T.R.O.Y.’s involvement in the Day of Caring brings the United Way’s work full circle. Earlier this year, when United Way awarded it’s annual grants, T.R.O.Y. Center was one of the major recipients.

(story content contributed by Christie Barkley, The Post & Mail newspaper, Columbia City, IN)

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