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United Way says it’s not too late to sign up


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United Way of Bartholomew County still is looking for a few volunteers for its Day of Service, set for Thursday.

More than 1,500 volunteers have signed up to assist with public service projects, including 800 children in the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. i-CARE program.

That is six times more than the 250 people who volunteered for the Day of Service last year.

 

Joy King, volunteer coordinator at United Way of Bartholomew County, said the community support has been overwhelming.

“We have had a tremendous response, and we are very excited with the enthusiasm and passion that the community has shown for the Day of Service,” King said.

The National Day of Service and Remembrance is an opportunity for volunteers to assist with projects in their local community that benefit nonprofits and other community organizations.

Organizations and businesses throughout the region have partnered with United Way this year, but individuals are also a big part of the volunteer effort.

The list of corporate partners includes a wide range of employers, including Cummins Inc., Columbus Regional Health, The Kroot Corp. and Century 21 Breeden Realtors.

Volunteers will participate in more than 26 service projects throughout the day.

The goal of United Way was to recruit 500 adult volunteers this year, according to King. While United Way has far exceeded that number, many volunteers sign up to participate in a specific activity, so a few organizations still need assistance.

Activities include interior maintenance and painting, outdoor landscaping and beautification projects, and organizing and sorting gifts-in-kind contributions.

“We are going to have the community connected, and people are going to be able to look out and see volunteers in action,” King said. “When you listen to the volunteers, even as they sign up, they are pretty enthusiastic to have the opportunity to provide hands-on help at each of the agencies.”

One of the organizations still looking for assistance is Thrive Alliance, a nonprofit organization that helps provide affordable housing for low-income residents. The organization is looking for people to distribute fliers.

A group of about 20 volunteers have signed up to help the organization complete a home repair project as part of the Ninth Street Park Neighborhood Revitalization Project.

Vickie Bateman of Thrive Alliance said the volunteers will provide a rare opportunity for a low-income family to own a home and to help rebuild a family-friendly neighborhood.

“They are helping to turn this from a house that was falling down into a very nice home for a family,” Bateman said. “It could not have been done without help, and it gives the volunteers a great sense of pride because it’s a tangible way to see how their efforts make a difference.”

United Way will also host a Campaign Kickoff Lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at Amazing Joe’s, 2607 Central Ave. Tickets are available for $8 in advance at the restaurant or the United Way offices. Proceeds from the event will be donated to United Way.

“Amazing Joe’s has been such a wonderful partner with United Way,” King said.

For more information or to become a volunteer, contact United Way of Bartholomew County at 812-376-3001 or go to uwbarthco.org/day-service.

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