Saturday was a day of caring throughout Pettis County as the Sedalia-Pettis County United Way hosted its second annual Day of Caring.
The event, hosted in conjunction with National Make a Difference Day, saw nearly 450 volunteers from Pettis County joining with members of SPCUW to work on one-time service projects to help veterans, the elderly or disabled residents who live in the county.
“This year we had 38 teams working on 24 projects,” SPCUW Executive Director Staci Harrison said Monday. “The projects were bigger than last year so a few teams doubled up to complete their tasks.
“We also partnered with Habitat for Humanity and assigned three of the teams to the two houses they are working on, one is in Sedalia and one is in Smithton,” she added. “We had a wonderful day and the event was such a success because of the heart and dedication of all of our volunteers and donors and because the entire community is involved.”
The teams met early Saturday morning for a breakfast and to receive any supplies and tools that were needed for the respective projects.
Janet Bice, 2016 Day of Caring Chair and SPCUW board member, said one of the reasons for the success of the event was the willingness of all the volunteers both young and old.
“The 400-plus volunteers for this year’s Day of Caring reflects the commitment of our community to partner with the United Way to lend a helping hand to our neighbors,” Bice said. “I appreciate the volunteers’ efforts as well as all of our donors for their willingness to be a part of this event.”
Last year’s event had 155 participants. The volunteers ranged in age from age 6 to senior citizens, according to Harrison.
Harrison said the projects were chosen through an application process or by referrals from churches and community partners.
In addition to helping the Habitat for Humanity projects, volunteers teamed up with the American Red Cross to install smoke detectors in rural Green Ridge, La Monte and Sedalia.
“Some of the volunteers helped to tear down some old property structures and others mended fences and did minor household repairs like painting and cleaning up trash and doing yard work,” Harrison said. “Our volunteers worked very hard to help others.
“It was amazing to see so many people engaged with our community helping complete strangers accomplish something that they could not do on their own,” she added.
The projects impacted the lives of not only the recipients of the group’s efforts but also the participants themselves.
“This is an event that the Sedalia-Pettis County United Way will lead annually,” Community Impact Chair and SPCUW board member Chris Stewart said. “Every person I spoke to not only felt good that they were doing something bigger than themselves, but they were having a lot of fun while doing it.”
The third annual Sedalia-Pettis County Day of Caring will be Oct. 24, 2017. For information about sponsoring or volunteering at the 2017 event, contact Harrison at 660-826-2980 or [email protected]
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.