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28th United Way Day of Caring Today

The 28th United Way “Day of Caring” happens today across the Ohio Valley.

Over 330 volunteers representing 29 local companies and organizations have signed up to volunteer their time and assist local charitable groups, according to Melynda Sampson, assistant director for the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley.

Thirty-one different projects across the area have been coordinated for the day by the United Way, and these will take place across Brooke, Ohio, Marshall and Wetzel counties in West Virginia, and in Belmont County, Ohio, she said.

Some of the volunteers will be assisting Boy Scouts in trimming trees, painting park shelters and installing frost-free spigots, Sampson said. Others will be painting at the Brooke County Library, or cleaning gutters for Catholic Charities.

Another project, meanwhile, will see volunteers assisting in the removal of a cement block safe at Family Service of the Upper Ohio Valley,

“We’re hoping for good day — it will be a hot one,” Sampson said.

Many participants will meet at the White Palace just before 8 a.m. for a volunteer breakfast, then be dispatched to their project sites to begin work. Others in the outlying counties will go directly to their projects, Sampson said.

There will be an hour for lunch, during which many volunteers will see a presentation from their host organization.

“Often they get tours from the agency telling them what they do, and what impact they are making,” Sampson said. “It’s an all-day thing.”

The effort is expected to last as late as 4 p.m.

The full title for the event is the Sally O’Haver Day of Caring — named for an employee of the United Way.

The official time for the start of the day actually is 7:52 a.m., and Sampson said it was O’Haver who explained to her why the time was established.

“She said at one time there were several different United Ways in the tri-state area participating, and the question was how to get everyone together on time,” Sampson said. “They came up with the 7:52 a.m. start.

“It sticks in everybody’s head and is a conversation starter. It tells people we want to get started and not waste your time.”

While some volunteers join the Day of Caring as individuals, most are employees of participating companies who pay their employees a day’s wages to participate, Sampson said.

Often the same volunteers come back year after year, she said. One of them is Dean Hores of American Electric Power, who has participated in most all of the events over the past 28 years.

Volunteers for today’s Day of Caring signed up to participate earlier this summer, and the lists already have been finalized, according to Sampson.

“If anybody is interested for next year, we will put them on the list for next year,” she said. “We can always use more volunteers.”

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