Volunteers Spring to Action for Day of Caring in Florence
Published in the Morning News on 9/22/2018

FLORENCE, S.C. – Many hands were on board volunteering Friday across the city of Florence as United Way of Florence County hosted its 26th annual Day of Caring, which began the annual fundraising campaign.

Several hundred volunteers from local businesses volunteered with nonprofit organizations to complete more than 70 projects with approximately 15 nonprofits.

The projects ranged from hosting a cookout, painting buildings and cleaning up yards. Rachel Baggett, the director of marketing at United Way of Florence County, said the projects are chosen based on what the nonprofits need.

During the opening breakfast at First Presbyterian Church, United Way of Florence County President Wendy Bird announced the top companies for volunteers: Honda Manufacturing with 35 volunteers, Assurant and ADP both with 32 volunteers and GE Healthcare with 29 volunteers.

The Pee Dee Coalition had four projects taking place during the day at its various locations: the Pee Dee Coalition Building, the Durant Center for Children, the shelter and its support services building.

Otis Elevator Company, HillSouth IT Solutions and GE Healthcare all participated in the projects with the Pee Dee Coalition. The businesses completed tasks, such as fixing a fence, installing a promethean board, cleaning the landscaping and building a ramp.

Haley Schaefer, the volunteer coordinator for the Pee Dee Coalition, said the improvements to the building allow victims to feel more comfortable there.

“They don’t realize it, but it does help us impact the needs of our victims,” Schaefer said. “It helps us long term, because we don’t have the time to get some of these projects completed.”

This is the 26th year that United Way of Florence County has helped the Pee Dee Coalition during the Day of Caring.

Blue Cross Blue Shield worked at the Boys & Girls Club during the Day of Caring, repainting parking lot lines, trimming bushes and deep cleaning the building. This is Blue Cross Blue Shield’s second year volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club.

Sophia Stevenson, the campaign chairwoman for Blue Cross Blue Shield and captain for the United Way Day of Caring, said the organization gets involved with the Day of Caring to stay involved in the community.

“It is very near and dear to our hearts,” Stevenson said. “We have a lot of our employees who have kids who actually go to this center.”

In addition to the Day of Caring, Blue Cross Blue Shield will have representatives from the Boys & Girls Club speak about their services and inform their employees about United Way’s mission.

The tentative date for next year’s Day of Caring is Sept. 20, according to Bird.