Volunteers show they care
Shepherdstown, along with Jefferson and Berkeley counties, was flooded with orange shirts on Tuesday as hundreds of volunteers participated in the United Way’s annual Day of Caring.
Leading off the day was a kick off breakfast hosted at The Inn at Hollywood Casino, hosted by Charls Town Races. Offering the Pledge of Allegiance to kick off activities was Shepherdstown Elementary School’s Girl Scout Troop 4009, who, in addition to the pledge, provided musical entertainment as well.
The 19th annual Day of Caring, the event this year saw over 1,000 volunteers come out to work on more than 80 projects around the area.
Shepherdstown reaped the benefit of the workers at a variety of locations. Rumsey Park received sprucing up from the capable hands of members of the Potomac-Mecklenburg Garden Club who could be found weeding around the base of the monument. Members of the fifth grade classes at Shepherdstown Elementary paraded from school in their bright orange shirts donated by A Plus Plumbing and McDonalds of Martinsburg, as they headed to the Rumsey Monument and the adjoining park to spread mulch and do other necessary clean up.
Over a few blocks, Shepherdstown Day Care received the attention of approximately 11 volunteers from Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races who came out to paint, do windows and some general upkeep.
Heading up the group was Laura Gatto who shared that she and most of her fellow volunteers return to the Day Care year after year.
“The kids are so much fun,” she said. “We love coming here.”
The volunteers helped clean playground equipment and even built a new playhouse to add to another house they had constructed last year. The older of the two received a new paint job Tuesday. In addition, volunteers cleaned windows and screens and did some needed repair on the Day Care’s signage.
In addition to the projects done around the area, the Day of Caring included a Mega Food Drive that has been ongoing for weeks. Different organizations in the two counties have gathered food for the Jefferson County Community Ministries Food Pantry, all of which was delivered Tuesday. According to final tallies shared at the day’s closing event held at The Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, more than 9,800 pounds of food were collected.
The Food Pantry offers assistance to those in the area in need of food items. Shelves are stocked with canned goods, soaps, laundry detergent and much more. United Way staffer Tiffany Lawrence shared Tuesday that the 2012 Day of Caring garnered enough items to stock the pantry for two weeks.
“We hope this year we can stock for three,” she said.