More than 800 volunteers are expected to participate Friday in the third annual Day of Caring held by United Way of Bartholomew County.

Day of Caring is a full-day volunteer event that connects community members with nonprofit and residential volunteer projects in Bartholomew County. Projects to be tackled this year include painting and picking up trash along the People Trail, plus yard upkeep, maintenance and landscaping work at homes in the area, said Angie Huebel, director of United Way’s Volunteer Action Center.

While many of the projects are in Columbus, the event will include work in Hope and Elizabethtown as well, she said.

More than 1,000 volunteers helped last year during Day of Caring on 106 projects.

Story continues below gallery

“It’s an opportunity for our community to come together and help individual residents and nonprofits and get things done that otherwise wouldn’t get done,” Huebel said.

The Columbus Park Foundation is still seeking volunteers to help clean up the People Trail, said Dick Boyce, volunteer coordinator with the foundation. Individuals are being sought for an 8 a.m. to noon shift.

Boyce said he hopes to have about 60 people participate in the clean-up effort. The foundation has a program known as Adopt-a-Trail that allows different organizations to focus on cleaning up 11 sections along the People Trail.

However, the area along Jonathan Moore Pike and a stretch of trail in Clifty Park will be the two designated areas targeted during Day of Caring event, Boyce said.

Trash bags and vests will be provided to volunteers, who are asked to bring their own gloves.

People Trail volunteers are asked to meet at the former Denny’s restaurant located at 3300 Jonathan Moore Pike.

“Their efforts really goes a long way and really helps the residents and anyone who comes to Columbus,” Boyce said.

Other groups, such as the Historic Downtown Neighborhood Alliance, also will be lending a helping hand during Day of Caring. T

The alliance will be partnering with the Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center, the city and the Columbus Area Visitors Center to improve corners in the downtown residential area.

Volunteers will be planting flowers such as day lillies, irises and hostas in the area during two different shifts, 8 to 11 a.m. and from 1 to 5 p.m., said Julie McCawley, a member of the Historic Downtown Neighborhood Alliance.

McCawley said the effort is meant to make the overall area more appealing to people.

“It makes a big difference,” she said. “It kind of spruces up the neighborhood.”

How to volunteer

Volunteers are needed to assist groups such as Human Services Inc. and the Columbus Park Foundation for different Day of Caring projects.

Individuals can sign up on United Way’s Day of Caring website. Visit

Author photo
Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or