Nacogdoches Area United Way will host its third annual Day of Caring beginning this morning at the county courthouse annex.

“Day of Caring is a United Way tradition where we send volunteers to do projects in the community for partner agencies,” said Caroline Garner, executive vice-president the local United Way. “We’ve gotten pledges from donors and give them a chance to do service around the community. This allows donors or anyone to participate to show how much they care for our local service agencies.”

The event is taking place today — the first day of summer — because it has the longest amount of daylight all year. June 21 also is the official United Way Worldwide Day of Action.

The first local Day of Caring took place in 2017 and had 85 volunteers at about six work sites. The next year, United Way brought the attendance to about 110 volunteers at 10 sites. This year, Garner estimates the nonprofit will have about 125 volunteers at about dozen sites.

Work include painting, gardening, moving things around and organizing playground or anything they need done.

United Way is inviting volunteer teams from the community and its workplace campaign partners who will be matched with project sites, Garner said.

The event is open to the public, and those who participate will meet at the county courthouse annex for breakfast before being sent to work on projects.

“We bring everyone together at 7:30 am with a breakfast sponsored by Etech and catered by CC Smokehouse,” Garner said. “We also will have door prizes and speeches about United Way, recognize the volunteers and give descriptions of project. Every volunteer will also be given a T-shirt. After the gathering, everyone will leave for their project sites at around 8:30 a.m.”

Those who attend will quickly understand the mission that United Way is trying to deliver: to help others.

“The mission two-fold. First, To provide volunteer labor for these community non-profits, so they can get something done that they couldn’t get done before,” Garner said. “Second, to give United way donors and anyone else to experience partner agencies, and get more familiar with the agencies. So they can develop a heart for the agencies, so they’ll want to return and do acts of service on their own.”

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