Lt. Dan Nelson with the Salvation Army had volunteers working on landscaping, touching up some paint and helping participants in the summer day camp build a set for a play.
“A lot of what gets done today would linger, but when you have 20 volunteers, they can knock out in the time they are here what we aren’t able to do,” Nelson said. “We are grateful for the support we get from United Way, beyond the funding.”
Suttles said the help was an absolute necessity for some places that were hit hard by May flooding. It has been almost two months since water ripped through many parts of the area and some have not begun to recover.
Aided Sportsman's Club
“The Sportsman’s Club in Paint Lick, they were under 38 feet of water during the flooding,” Suttles said. “That is one of the only community gathering places, and they needed a lot of help. There was still mud caked all over the place. The volunteers pulled debris off the shelter, swept it out, scraped paint. There is still a lot to be done, but they told us that those eight people got more done in three hours than in all the time since the flooding.”
While marshaling the considerable muscle brought together for the day bore impressive results, Suttles also pointed to the work done with populations that are the most vulnerable, children and the elderly.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters program used the opportunity to match up adults with children who are on the waiting list for a partner in the program. This year the big siblings for a day were at the Community Arts Center, taking them on a gallery walk and helping them make comic books about themselves.
Former recipients pitch in as volunteers
This year’s event also gave some who had been recipients of help from Day of Caring in the past the chance to participate.
Nine clients of A Brighter Choice, a Danville group that serves adults with mental disabilities, were paired with nine staff members to go out into the community and give back. Those who run A Brighter Choice said its clients are constantly searching for volunteer opportunities, which is vital for helping them to stay involved in their community.
“They had gone bowling with volunteers, but they said after last year they didn’t want to receive services, they wanted to work,” said executive director Linda Dye.
Lonnie Jones was accompanied to Arnold Towers in Danville by Judy Bayless to help elderly residents with cleaning and other chores they are unable to take on themselves. Bayless said Jones, who volunteer in the food pantry at the Salvation Army several times a week, is no stranger to hard work.
One of their stops was cleaning the windows in Anna Campbell’s apartment. Campbell, who is 86, said it was a huge lift having someone get to the hard to reach places.
“I can’t get up on a ladder anymore,” Campbell said. “I’m glad they came, and I really appreciate this so much.”