A coordinated volunteer effort to assist community residents and organizations resulted in twice the assistance provided compared to a year ago.
About 1,000 people volunteered for the United Way of Bartholomew County’s second annual Day of Caring on Friday. They donated about 4,000 person hours worth about $92,000 in work on about 80 service projects within the county, said Kyle Hendricks, United Way’s marketing and communications coordinator.
Last year’s event drew about 500 volunteers, who donated about 2,500 person hours worth about $35,000 on 60 projects.
Most of the volunteers came from companies such as Enkei, Faurecia, Cummins Inc., Toyota, Centra Credit Union and Blue and Co., but groups of retirees and other individuals also pitched in, Hendricks said. Lowe’s also donated many materials needed for the projects, he added.
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“It’s a pretty awesome effort,” he said.
Examples of the service projects included building a wheelchair ramp at one person’s home, painting rooms at a child care center, cleaning up Columbus Youth Camp trails and assisting Developmental Services Inc. clients with enrichment programming.
Jim Kahlenbeck, 59, served as the project manager for a wheelchair ramp built at 11 Reo St. The ramp was needed because of some family members’ health problems and older age, he said. About a dozen people assisted in the morning, while a different crew of about a dozen helped in the afternoon.
Building the ramp was a good thing because the family had no way to afford it, said Kahlenbeck, a retired Cummins engineer.
This was Kahlenbeck’s first time participating in the Day of Caring.
Although he has volunteered for community projects in the past, he said his Day of Caring experience was a good one.
“It’s been great, everyone’s been in a good mood, having a good time and smiling a lot,” he said.
Charity Brennan, 30, worked Friday morning at Columbus Child Care Center, 715 McClure Road, where she was one of about 10 volunteers who prepped three rooms to be painted in the afternoon. They scraped off old paint from walls, sanded, pulled up carpet and removed baseboards.
This was her first time participating in the Day of Caring, and she did so at the urging of coworkers in her customer support group at Cummins who assisted last year.
“We’ve had a good time. Lots of hard work, but we’re getting to know one another better and using some elbow grease to get some things done,” Brennan said.