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Volunteers Lend A Helping Hand

April 16, 2012

ST. MARYS — Approximately 250 volunteers joined together Saturday to make Auglaize County a better place by completing projections simultaneously across the county during the United Way of Auglaize County’s Day of Caring.

Volunteers from church groups and companies including AAP St. Marys Corporation, Honda, the Auglaize County Public Library, Dannon, Stolly Insurance, the city of Wapakoneta and Heritage Manor braved the rain Saturday to help a group of United Way partner agencies for the organization’s third annual Day of Caring. Volunteers painted at Mercy Unlimited and Agape Ministries, delivered marketing materials for the Cancer Association of Auglaize County and cleaned and organized a classroom for St. Marys ABLE/GED, among a slew of other projects.

A group of men from area churches built a wheelchair ramp for a client of the Auglaize County Council on Aging (ACCA), while the St. Marys facility of the ACCA was home to a Red Cross Blood Drive. ACCA Director Christina Roby said she supports the work of the United Way of Auglaize County and appreciates all the help the ACCA receives from the organization.

“We believe in the United Way and its mission 100 percent,” Roby said.

“From our standpoint and our agency, I would encourage everyone to volunteer and give to the United Way.”

Roby noted as a United Way of Auglaize County partner agency, the ACCA receives valuable funding to support its programs and services.

Volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Auglaize, Mercer and Van Wert Counties were a big for a day, spending time with a group of area children. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Auglaize, Mercer and Van Wert Counties Director Abby Balster said the Day of Caring volunteers and children had a day packed with activities.

“We started with registration, and they did coloring sheets while they waited,” Balster said. “They did some activities to get to know each other.”

Balster said the children and volunteers played a few games including a “Minute to Win it” game and human bingo to get to know each other before enjoying a snack.

“We’re having a healthy snack,” Balster said of the apple smiles with peanut butter and marshmallow teeth.

Volunteers were also matched with a child who they got to know better and do more activities with.

“I’m hoping that some of the kids will make an impact and we’ll get a few volunteers out of today,” Balster said.

The volunteers provided hours of labor for agencies that otherwise would have had to pay for the work on their own. United Way of Auglaize County Director Randy Fisher said the Day of Caring also gives the agencies an opportunity to show the volunteers what their organizations are doing.

“It was extraordinarily important for them (the agencies) to expose their message to people and to get their projects completed,” he said.

Fisher said he appreciates the support of the community for the annual event.

“We really can’t say enough about the support from the community,” he said.

Volunteers were given lunch and a T-shirt for their participation in the Day of Caring.

Agencies helping in this year’s event included Mercy Unlimited, Agape Ministries, the Auglaize County Crisis Center, the Children’s Development Center, the Cancer Association of Auglaize County, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Auglaize, Mercer and Van Wert Counites, the St. Marys Community Youth Center, St. Marys ABLE/GED, the Auglaize County Council on Aging and the Auglaize County Visiting Nurses Association.

For more information about the United Way of Auglaize County and its partner agencies, visit AuglaizeUnitedWay.org.
 

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