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More than 600 sign up for Day of Caring in Washington County

September 30, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN -- Joan Pitsnogle has lived in her South Hagerstown home since 1968, and she always has taken pride in keeping her property in good repair.

Now 74 years old and wheelchair-bound, she is having a tough time not only maintaining her house but keeping it energy-efficient and affordable.

On Wednesday, she will receive a helping hand.

"I heard about the United Way's Day of Caring from a friend," she said. "The people at REACH put me on the list for weatherizing my home because it costs me $500 a month for fuel oil."

Joan said a team of volunteers is to be at her home Wednesday to caulk around the windows. Although she earlier had insulated aluminum siding installed, the windows are a problem, she said.

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"They are also going to repair my screen door, which won't close anymore," she said. "I'm very excited about the work getting done."

More than 600 volunteers have signed to help during this year's Day of Caring as the United Way kicks off its 2008 campaign to raise $2 million.

"Day of Caring is a perfect example of volunteers living united," United Way community impact director Jenny Fleming said.

For the past seven years, First Data has been the main sponsor of the Day of Caring event. This year, a breakfast rally sponsored by Columbia Gas will be held at Hagerstown Community College's ARCC.

Eleven of the 35 teams this year are new, Fleming said. The service projects stretch from Knoxville to Hancock and involve repairs, maintenance, planting a garden and doing work at the homes of 15 seniors and disabled residents.

The 2008 campaign co-chairmen are Tim Henry and Noel Williams.

The United Way raised more than $1.9 million during its 2007 fundraising campaign.

The 2008 campaign will run through the end of December and will include such fundraising events as a Murder Mystery Dinner on Oct. 12 and an online auction that begins Nov. 29.

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