Day of Caring brings volunteers, community projects together

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The work in local communities in never really over. On Sept. 16, United Way of Williamsburg will bring those ready to work under one roof for the annual Day of Caring, where volunteers work on projects in the area.

Close to 600 volunteers signed up last year, according to Liz Parman, the interim executive director of the United Way of Williamsburg. This year's crop isn't quite as large — around 400 — but Parman, is happy with the turnout.

"We usually average around 500 volunteers," she said. "We're thinking we'll get closer to that, and we're excited."

This year, those volunteers will tackle almost 30 projects, ranging from upkeep of an outdoor classroom at James River Elementary to helping the staff at the Avalon Center.

In almost 20 years, several groups have routinely participated in the Day of Caring.

Parman said the Day of Caring has been around for almost two decades in Williamsburg. Representatives from Anheuser-Busch and Colonial Williamsburg have taken part for a decade.

Organizations bring their ideas for projects directly to Parman, who speaks with staff at the company involved to see what should be done and the needed manpower. Then, she'll look at volunteers' interests and match people accordingly.

Erin Hamlin, a Chesapeake Bank employee, volunteered for the first time last year; she worked with the fundraising arm associated with the Day of Caring.

Food is mainly what volunteers need, she said, and one of her main duties was helping find sponsors for those meals.

"We get tons of great sponsors to help us with that breakfast in the morning," she said. She referenced a McDonald's in Lightoot as an example.

In her role as Business Development Officer at Chesapeake Bank, she sees many who have helped the event in past years.

"Chesapeake is a smaller bank, so it's all about community with us," she said. "It's nice to be able to interact with my clients on a professional, (and) on a volunteer level. You see some of the same folks out supporting the community."

Want to help?

Individuals who'd like to volunteer can contact Liz Parman at liz.parman@uwgw.org.; groups should go through the United Way of Williamsburg website www.uwgw.org to volunteer..

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