NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches Area United Way never thought it had the support staff to pull off a volunteer work day. This morning, they were proved otherwise.
Partnering agencies reaped the benefits of the first ever United Way Day of Caring in Nacogdoches.
About 80 United Way volunteers rolled up their sleeves to prove the Nacogdoches United Way can support a Day of Caring.
This crew made short work of picking up unwanted sheet rock. Love in the Name of Christ needed it gone, so work can begin on a new shower and laundry facility.
"We're just thrilled that we can get it all cleaned up, and hopefully, contractors will be able to start hopefully in the next month," said Patty Goodrum, the director of Love In the Name of Christ.
At Salvation Army, a fresh coat of paint brightens an office filled with sadness. This month, the agency's director died. One day later, the client intake officer passed away. Both women had strokes. Longtime volunteer Molly Hoya suddenly found herself as the Salvation Army manager.
"I'm a little lost here by myself, but the United Way was kind of enough to come and paint our office," Hoya said. "We're going to get a fresh look and get back on our feet."
It's the kind of service that compliments United Way's year-long effort of raising money.
"We're always fundraising, which is necessary to help those who need us most, but this is an expression of the idea that we also care and we also do things to help people," said Gary Ashcraft, the president of the Nacogdoches Area United Way.
The Nacogdoches Senior Center's vegetable gardens were weeded. Volunteers tended to the tedious, but necessary job of sorting jewelry donations at the Family Crisis Thrift Store. And the Nacogdoches Boys and Girls Club's picnic tables have a fresh coat of paint.
Some volunteers are using their own time. Others are retired. Most are sponsored by their employers.
"So that their employers instead of paying them for a day of work at their facility, are paying them to go work for the community," said Caroline Garner, United Way's CFO.
That commitment shows United Way sponsors understand their place in Nacogdoches and a Day of Caring can make a difference.
After a successful day, United Way has decided to make the Day of Caring an annual event.