September 19, 2012

Our View: A chance to make a difference

— It’s not too late to sign up as a volunteer for Friday’s Live United Day.

Volunteers will be pulling weeds at AIM Park or the Hervey Preserve. They’ll be cleaning the offices at the American Red Cross and clearing brush at Peak Community Services.

They’ll also be helping to side a house being renovated by the Fuller Center for Housing.

They’ll be setting up playground equipment at Franklin and Fairview elementary schools and working on the landscaping at the Cardinal Center. They’ll also be handing out food at All Saints Catholic Church.

This annual day of caring put together by the United Way of Cass County gets bigger every year.

Volunteers a year ago tackled a garden cleanup at The Salvation Army's new building and landscaping at a group home. They dusted off a swing set that had been in storage for years and devoted an entire day to making sure that kids from the neighborhood surrounding Bishop Park would be able to use it.

This is the fifth year for the annual day of volunteering, and the event gets bigger every year.

Students from kindergarten through high school get involved in projects, and some companies turn loose nearly their entire work force for a day of making a difference in the community.

Lots of folks who had volunteered at past events spoke at this year’s United Way campaign rally. They spoke of the warm feelings they had from a day of helping others and of the fun they had working alongside friends and total strangers.

The rally also featured comments from a woman who benefitted from one of the projects. She spoke of her undying gratitude for the help the volunteers provided. Her house had been in need of work she could neither afford nor tackle on her own, and she said her life had been changed dramatically by the help of people she’d never met.

Stories like that unfold every year, and this year’s event will be the biggest yet.

Thousands of volunteers will tackle projects both large and small, and you can be a part of it. All you need to do is pick up the phone or visit the United Way website to sign up. It’ll be an experience you won’t forget.

Want to help?

Volunteers forms are available at or by calling 574-753-3533. The deadline to sign up is Thursday.

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