Celebrate Day of Caring Year Around

Sep 06, 2013

United Way of Haywood County kicked off another successful Day of Caring on Thursday, when more than 375 volunteers gave up their day to help the elderly and disabled residents in the community.

The annual event brings together volunteers from clubs, businesses, churches and organizations to spend one day taking care of people in need of a helping hand in Haywood County, whether it’s by painting a house or building a wheelchair ramp.

United Way Executive Director Celesa Willet said volunteers worked on a total of 38 projects this year, including assisting nonprofits like Manna Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity.

The Day of Caring started out in 1997 with only 15 projects and 75 volunteers. Fast-forward to this year, and the exploding number of volunteers just indicates that more people are seeing the importance of giving back and taking action.

If there’s something we can learn from the hundreds of residents who took off a day of work, it’s that we can always find the time to meet the needs in the community. Whether you contribute firewood, help with plumbing, clean or do yard work, there is always something you can do to make a huge difference for someone who is unable.

Ruth Wyche, a visually impaired woman who lives alone in Canton, was thrilled to have new side porch built for her on Thursday, complete with a ramp that will allow her to safely drag her trash to the road. Wyche is just one example of the many residents in the county who need help to maintain comfortable and safe living conditions.

It’s impressive that so many residents were willing to contribute one day of help, but the reality is it’s just one day. Imagine how much the community would benefit from a week of caring, or even a month.

Day of Caring improves the quality of life for so many residents, but it doesn’t have to stop there. We can’t give up our jobs or daily responsibilities, but we can maintain the same  Day of Caring attitude and apply it to other volunteer opportunities. Whether it’s by serving food to the hungry or visiting with the elderly, we can all spread the love even further.

Let’s all recognize the huge impact the Day of Caring has on our community, and pass it on. Those of us who can spare an extra hour or a day to volunteer can make a difference in the lives of others. And while the Day of Caring has been monumental in helping local residents, we don’t need a specific day to tell us when to give back.