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1700 volunteers in the Ozarks offered their time, talents, and muscle for United Way’s 21st annual Day of Caring Thursday. KSMU’s Shannon Bowers took a closer look at some of the 155 different projects taking place throughout the community.
Volunteers in Greene, Polk and Taney counties delegate tasks and help various agencies, anything from moving Christmas decorations, washing windows, to pulling weeds. They’re working to enhance the lives of local citizens like Monique.
“Yeah the clutter has gone away. You know when you see dirt everywhere sometimes, like floors around the baseboards and stuff, when they clean that all up it makes me feel better. It makes it feel like home,” Monique said.
Monique is a resident of Harmony House, which cares for abused women and children. She’s receiving assistance from some of the roughly 60 employees of CoxHealth who were brought to the shelter.
It is actually neat. I have been a part of organizations that did this but it is my first chance to actually participate,” said Morris.
Keith Morris is a grant write for the CoxHealth Foundation. He was joined by Lisa Cox, a more experienced volunteer, who is helping pull weeds outside of the Harmony House facility. It’s her 17th year in the Day of Caring program.
“It is just kind of a bonus to my day every being outside and enjoying the sun and mostly being with my co-workers. Cox is so big but it is very small in some ways because you get to know people in different ways. This is one of those days where you get to know more people that you work with,” Cox said.
In the day care room, volunteers Tracy Taylor and Jane Thomas sit in miniature chairs while putting together packets of information about what Harmony House is and what the program does.
“Tracy and I have done it for years” said Taylor.
“We are pretty fortunate that our employers allow us a day off to give our time,” Said Thomas.
“It helps the staff here and it helps our clients. It helps the community,” said Taylor.
The United way of the Ozarks strives to increase the understanding of human needs and to mobilize resources to meet these needs through resource development, community building, and project management. Within the year, they hope to raise $4 million, five percent over what they raised last year.
For KSMU News, I’m Shannon Bowers.