The bigger the need, the greater the response. That’s the way it’s working for the United Way of Forsyth County.
More than 440 volunteers have signed up for the organization’s eighth annual Day of Caring on Friday, with more expected, said executive director Ruth Goode.
The event, which also kicks off the annual fundraising campaign, begins with breakfast at First Baptist Church in Cumming.
“This is the first year that we’ve had such an overwhelming response to both the Day of Caring and the kickoff,” she said. “People understand and realize that there are a lot of folks out there that are in a lot worse shape than they are, and they are coming out that day to lend support.”
“I’m surprised that we’ve had so many people that want to be involved this year ... it’s a great problem to have.”
Goode said she hopes the response of time and money from the community will match the increasing need, as more residents are turning to nonprofit organizations for help in the struggling economy.
The organization raised about $1.45 million during its 2009 campaign. The official fundraising goal for 2010 will be announced during a luncheon, set for 11:30 a.m. Friday at the church.
“We can’t go any lower because there are so many people with needs, we have to at least ask for what we did last year,” Goode said. “Even though we know it’s going to be harder to bring in that much this year, we have to set our sights a little higher, based on that need.”
The Day of Caring kicks off earlier, with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at the church. Groups of volunteers receive their assignments and fan out to more than 35 locations countywide to help community members.
Volunteer projects include yardwork, reading to children, assisting senior citizens, stocking food pantries and organizing thrift store merchandise.
There is no shortage of volunteer opportunities.
“The need out there is so much greater than we’ve ever seen here in the county,” Goode said. “We’ll continue to see this next year, so it’s a good time for folks to respond positively."