500 volunteers. 500 volunteers hammering nails, painting walls, washing windows, cutting grass, gathering paper products. Each year, the second Tuesday of September arrives with Morgan County's finest stepping up to make a difference in our community.

For 20 years, the United Way Day of Caring has matched need with opportunity, an equation that equals success. Each of the 29 locally-funded agencies or programs is asked to submit projects that can be adopted by companies, organizations, churches families and even individuals. Many businesses adopt projects and permit employees to leave the workplace to volunteer while on company time.

There are three types of projects for adoption:

1. Volunteers will provide a desperately needed service to an agency at its physical location. Most projects involve some type of maintenance or upkeep that the agency could not afford or would be extremely difficult to do with limited budgets and staff. Projects such as painting offices, cleaning carpets, etc.

2. Volunteers can work directly with clients of local agencies providing help and support to those individuals in our community family that truly are in need of services. Projects such cutting grass for hospice patients, Delivering Meals on Wheels, etc.

3. Businesses can host an agency shower for specific items that will benefit the agency, agency clients or both. Items such as paper products for the local domestic violence shelter, items for comforts kits
giving to victims of house fires or an office supply drive all work to help keep administrative costs low.

Projects can be adopted by visiting The Volunteer Center of Morgan County's website (www.vcomc.org). For the many companies unable to go out and volunteer, Day of Caring T-shirts are available for purchase for $6. We're asking everyone to purchase a t-shirt to wear Sept. 9 to help commemorate the 20 year anniversary of this incredible event.

The Day of Caring provides a critical opportunity for individuals to see, first-hand, how monies raised locally stay here and work here to change lives. Each year, 32,000 Morgan County residents receive a
service or benefit from a United Way funded agency or program. That's 1 in 3.

500 volunteers will be working to make a difference on Sept. 9. Will you be one of them?

Sherry Pentecost is the director of resource development for the United Way of Morgan County. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..