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United Way gears up for 22nd annual Day of Caring

Each year, United Ways across the country participate in a nationwide day of service called Day of Caring. It’s a single-day service event like no other.

United Way Day of Caring will kick off Day of Caring Thursday with a pep rally beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Vicksburg City Pavilion located near the city pool.

Day of Caring brings together teams of volunteers from local businesses to help non-profit organizations across Warren, Sharkey, Issaquena, Yazoo and Claiborne County.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to roll up your sleeves and let your actions speak louder than words. It’s the ideal way to show, by example, what it means to Live United,” Kami May, director of marketing and community relations said.

For this year’s Day of Caring, United Way of West Central Mississippi is coordinating over 20 hands-on projects for more than 225 volunteers.

Projects range from gardening and landscaping to painting and assembling.

Volunteer teams will be matched with the project that most closely aligns with their group size, skill level and interest. Volunteers will also receive a Day of Caring t-shirt and lunch.

Michele Connelly, executive director said, “This is one of my favorite events of the year. Looking out from the stage and seeing a sea of Live United T-shirts eagerly waiting to go forth and make a difference brings me such joy,” Michele Connelly, United Way executive director, said.

United Way of West Central Mississippi partners with 19 partner agencies across five counties and Madison parish. This day highlights those partner agencies, but not only do those 19 partners have a project, other non-profits surrounding Vicksburg also enter projects.

“I love that this day gives our agencies and other surrounding non-profits the opportunity to share their story and thank volunteers,” Heidi Burrell, United Way director of resource development, said. “So very often they are busy serving clients or don’t have the man power to complete a project- Day of Caring makes things possible for non-profits.”

“We live in the most giving community,” Connelly said. “The City of Vicksburg provided the space for our kick off and our yearly sponsors like Ameristar Casino provide us with funds to keep doing days like this year after year.”

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. will greet the volunteers, who will be treated to a light breakfast sponsored by Walmart and Chick-fil-A.

“As of now, we have over 20 project sites and more than 225 volunteers signed up,’ Burrell said. “We want to encourage any businesses or individuals to join in on the action. However, to make sure we have all of our projects appropriately staffed we ask you to sign up by Tuesday (April 23).”

Contact the United Way office at 601-636-1733 for more information or to sign up.