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Day of Caring kicks off annual campaign
Volunteer effort begins with breakfast Friday
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going

* What: United Way of Forsyth County’s Day of Caring

* When: Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Friday, program at 8 a.m., volunteer projects begin at 9 a.m.

* Where: Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center, 7745 Majors Road

* Cost: $10 for breakfast

* For more information or to sign up, call the United Way of Forsyth County office at (770) 781-4110.

Many Forsyth County residents and business people will spend several hours helping others later this week.

The United Way of Forsyth County will hold its annual Day of Caring beginning at 7:30 a.m. Friday at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

Ruth Goode, executive director, said organizers are expecting about 300 people to volunteer at various nonprofit organizations throughout the county.

“We have folks coming from businesses and the school system and churches and all different areas in the community,” she said.

The day will begin with breakfast, which volunteers can purchase for $10, and a guest speaker. This year, the speaker will be Gerry Brown, a local resident who served as a 2012 Olympic torch runner.

Goode said volunteers should come with empty stomachs.

“We don’t hold people up too long for the breakfast, but it is always a big breakfast, so we encourage people to come hungry,” she said.

The event also serves as United Way’s campaign kickoff event. The annual effort is held each fall, raising money that will be distributed to United Way’s partner nonprofit agencies the following year.

“So this will be our 2013 campaign,” Goode said. “Our organizations will benefit from it all throughout 2013.”

The 2012 campaign raised about $1.8 million, and Goode said this year’s goal will be to raise more.

“We don’t make a huge deal any more of the goal amount, but we always expect to raise more than we did the year before,” she said.

After the morning program, volunteers will fan out into the community about 9 a.m. to complete various projects.

Goode said those efforts range from office work to outdoor projects such as landscaping.

“There’s always painting, there’s always some sort of outdoor work, there’s organizing at food pantries,” she said. “There’s office work like addressing and stuffing envelopes, filing and doing bulk mailings. There’s deep cleaning. There’s some yard work for senior citizens … all the projects are right here in Forsyth County.”

Goode said anyone interested in volunteering can call the United Way office this week, or just show up Friday morning.

“If they want to come to breakfast, we’d love to have them and we’ll accommodate anyone who wants to participate,” she said. “It is a community event and we want as many as possible to participate. We always have things to do.”

She said she and her staff always look forward to the Day of Caring.

“It’s a lot of fun for us,” she said. “A lot of these people who are giving their time are also donors, so this gives us a chance to say ‘hi’ and thank them for all they do for the community in giving time, talents and financial resources.”