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Editorial - Caring for the community

June 26, 1997

United Way's annual Day of Caring, which in the past has focused on things like sprucing up county parks and removing graffiti from city buildings, will focus on seven non-profit agencies' needs July 19 with an army of more than 150 volunteers. We commend this effort, which will save contributors' dollars for more important uses.

Armed with a $10,000 donation from Citicorp Credit Services, the volunteers who begin work at 7 a.m. that day will (among other things) wash windows, paint, install a computer and software system, tear up old carpet and lay new floor coverings and replace or repair damaged ceiling tiles.

These jobs may seem like routine maintenance, but they're much more. For those who can't volunteer on a weekly basis, or whose talents are construction-related, Day of Caring provides a way to get involved by doing a lot in a short period of time.

Day of Caring also gives the volunteers in those agencies (and the clients they serve) more pleasant surroundings for their activities, whether it's a parenting class being held by the Parent-Child Center or counseling through Catholic Charities.

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That's important, because volunteers are the lifeblood of the United Way. They include the team that runs the annual campaign, the panel that reviews agency spending and performance and those who work directly with those in need of everything from food to youth recreation. Washington County's quality of life isn't something that evolved naturally or developed by accident. It was forged by the sweat of many people who gave a lot of their time for good causes, for no pay.

We salute this year's sponsors, including William M. Neikirk, Inc., Steffey & Findlay, Lovell's Nursery, Burkholder's, Inc., Bagel-Lisious, Martin's Fine Furniture, Callas Contractors, BFI, Robert Cochran Insurance Associates, Inc., Antietam Cable, Crown, Inc., Standard Acoustical, Martin's Potato Chips, Pepsi-Cola, Burger King, Green Spring Water and Dunkin' Donuts.

Their response and that of the volunteers demonstrates (once again) that this is a community where people care enough to give their time - and get their hands dirty - for a good cause.

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