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Lending a caring hand

Volunteers take part in United Way's Day of Caring

Volunteers pause after a hard day’s work painting at the Sturbridge Senior Center. The volunteers, most from Hyde Tool Inc., of Southbridge, Savers Bank, the Sturbridge Rotary Club and Literacy Volunteers, were participating in the United Way’s annual Day of Caring on Wednesday, Sept. 15. Rich Hosford. (click for larger version)
September 16, 2010
Volunteers could be seen at local nonprofit organizations Wednesday, Sept. 15, often with paintbrush, rake, hammer or other tool in hand as they worked to make improvements in the community.

United Way locations across the state participated in the 17th Annual Day of Caring, a day when the organization coordinates volunteers to get out and work in their communities. Locally, United Way of Central Massachusetts had more than 1,300 employees of area companies working on 90 projects at dozens of non-profit agencies in our community.

This year, under the leadership of Tim Garvin, CEO of United Way of Central Massachusetts and chairperson of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts United Ways, all of the 18 local branches have scheduled this annual event for the same day. Garvin said he envisioned the day as a moment when volunteers could come together to make a difference for local organizations.

"I am thrilled that we are making this happen," he said. "Regardless of where you live, somehow, your community will be better because of the work this cadre of volunteers will do. This is what it means to live united."

In Sturbridge, volunteers were busy painting the conference room at the Sturbridge Senior Center and doing yard work at the Sturbridge Nursery School.

Bonnie Losavio, executive director of United Way of Southbridge, Sturbridge & Charlton, said that branch is participating in its fourth Day of Caring. She said each year the organization contacts nonprofits and schools to ask if there are outstanding projects they need help completing. She said the group had done work in the senior center for the past few years, painting in stages to help the center get the look its leaders want.

For more on this story, please see Friday's Southbridge Evening News.

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