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Day of Caring draws nearly 300

October 06, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

WASHINGTON COUNTY

marlob@herald-mail.com

At 9:30 a.m. on a typical day, Elizabeth Culp would have been in her eighth-grade math class at Grace Academy.

But on Wednesday, the 13-year-old chose to participate in the United Way Day of Caring.

"I thought it sounded like something that would help other people," Elizabeth said as she replaced mulch around trees at Hagerstown Fairgrounds Park.

Nearly 300 volunteers fanned out to work sites around Washington County after the traditional kickoff breakfast at Bethel Assembly of God on Wilson Boulevard.

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"Our partner agencies look forward to volunteers lending a helping hand," said Dale Bannon, United Way executive director. "This mobilization translates into huge savings for the nonprofit community and ultimately improves lives."

Painting, cleaning, delivering agency literature, landscaping, sorting food and even helping an older couple with home improvements were among the chores performed.

This year's United Way goal in Washington County is $1.7 million. Already 37 percent - or $624,612 - of that goal has been pledged, Bannon said. The campaign runs through December.

Culp and more than two dozen of her classmates and some adults volunteered for the activity Wednesday as members of the missions team at the school. Suzie Wolfe served as their adviser.

"I called the United Way to say the kids in the missions team wanted to volunteer," Wolfe said.

In addition to putting their faith into action, the youth who participated will also earn community hours for their efforts.

Ben Barnett is a 10th-grader and mission team member.

"I would have been in health class at school if I hadn't signed up to come and volunteer," Ben said.

Matthew Durbin, 15, has been on the missions team since it began three years ago.

"We've also gone to the Boys & Girls Club on Pennsylvania Avenue and helped kids with homework and sorted food at Food Resources Inc.," he said.

Jamie Shurnitski, 13, said she thought being on A Day of Caring work crew would be fun.

"I would have been in math class otherwise," she said as she helped pull weeds and dust away cobwebs at Fairgrounds Park.

Other teams included Callas Contractors, Citicorp Credit Services, City of Hagerstown, Columbia Gas, Washington County government, Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Exchange Club, First Data Merchant Services, First United Bank and Trust, Fujicolor Processing, Hagerstown Trust Co., The Herald-Mail Co., Long Meadow Rotary, M&T Bank, Review & Herald Publishing, Sunrise Rotary, Susquehanna Bank, Volvo Powertrain and UAW Locals 171 and 1247.

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