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Day of Caring returns on Friday
United Way organizes large volunteer effort

Forsyth News Now: West Football

Brian Paglia and Joshua Sutton

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FORSYTH COUNTY — United Way of Forsyth County staff members are readying for the 2014 Day of Caring and campaign kickoff Friday.

Each year, volunteers from various local businesses, civic groups, schools and other organizations take part in the event, fanning out to assist nonprofits.

This year, the United Way is expecting a record-breaking 650 volunteers to take part in the day, which will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

Leigh Crow, resource development director with the organization, said a light breakfast would be provided before teams would begin their service projects at 9 a.m.

Like last year, a large number of the volunteers will take part in an event called United Way Food Friday, where 60,000 dried, non-perishable meals will be packaged for distribution to local food pantries.

United Way is again partners with Outreach, Inc., a nonprofit that works to end food insecurity and hunger across the world.

Last year, 350 volunteers took part in Food Friday, while another 185 spent time on projects such as yard work, painting, sorting donations and reading to children at eight different sites.

Crow said some 50,000 meals were packaged during the 2013 Food Friday, and this year’s goal has been set higher to help meet the ongoing food needs.

“Even though our economy is rebounding [from the economic downturn], the need for food assistance in our community remains strong,” she said.

“This Day of Caring event is one way a collective effort by a variety of people can make an impact on our community through United Way.”

Volunteer opportunities for the Day of Caring are full, but Crow said those interested in helping out the community should visit for other ways to get involved.

She also thanked sponsors of the Day of Caring for “making this event possible.”

“Their contributions help defray the cost of the meals,” she said.