The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley held its 16th annual Day of Caring on Friday.
The day started with a breakfast at the Covelli Centre for nearly 400 volunteers from area companies before they headed to work. The breakfast was hosted by WKBN/WYTV reporter Greta Mittereder.
United Way officials said they hope the day is an eye opener for those who contribute.
"Volunteers who support us all year long through payroll deductions to the United Way, they get a chance to come out and see the actual work we do," said United Way of the Mahoning Valley President Bob Hannon. "We certainly need people to give to the United Way but we want them to feel their dollars are an investment in the community in making a difference."
Once the breakfast was over, nearly volunteers went right to work to complete three dozen projects. Blue shirts soon dotted Youngstown's North Side.
General Motors employees and United Autoworkers 1112 members spent their morning landscaping a home on Fifth Avenue.
"I'm weeding," said GM Plant Manager Bob Parcell. "Hands and knees. We're having a lot of fun."
Down the street, Better Business Bureau and Compco Industries employees worked side by side to remove debris from a vacant home on Curry Place.
"To be away today, we have 25 of our employees which is a lot for a small industry like us to allow them to come out here and pay it forward," said Tina Orr of Compco Industries.
Across the street, workers from Dearing Compressor boarded up windows and piled up old tires.
"This town has some amazing people in it," said Dearing Compressor's Becky Wall. "And I know personally my experience with the United Way has opened up my eyes to the kindness and goodness and overall values of the people in this Valley."
The extra crews helped the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation cross several homes in need of care off their list.
"This is an incredible opportunity to mobilize this number of volunteers," said YNDC Executive Director Presley Gillespie. "This number of various businesses that are working with United Way, it's really an incredible way to mobilize human capital and really the spirit of what Youngstown is all about."
The following projects were done as part of the 2013 Day of Caring:
- Employees from Hill, Barth & King, LLC wrapped and labeled bingo prizes for a bingo game at the ARC of Ohio NE Branch in Poland.
- Workers from the Area Agency on Aging, United Auto Workers Local 1112 and Local 1714, Sam's Club, Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley, Altronic LLC, Greenwood Chevrolet, and Paul Milligan & Associates did yard work and home repairs for seniors in various neighborhoods on behalf of the Area Agency on Aging.
- Employees from the Better Business Bureau folded newsletters, sorted mail and packaged items for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Mahoning Valley in Girard.
- First Energy employees stained buildings and outdoor structures, painted the inside and took inventory of dining hall equipment at Camp Stambaugh in Canfield for the Boy Scouts of America/Greater Western Reserve Council.
- Employees from the Life Skills Center cleaned the inside and outside of the building at the Boys & Girls Club of Youngstown.
- Workers from AIM National Lease cleaned and weeded the parking lot, and cleaned up the pantry and donation room at Catholic Charities Regional Agency in Youngstown.
- Employees from Casal's de Spa and Salon in Howland trimmed bushes, weeded and planted fall flowers at Compass Family & Community Services in Youngstown. They also prepared, planted and cleaned up the outdoor area at the Millcreek Children's Center in Youngstown. Workers at the Canfield location of Casal's did cleaning and painting at Neighborhood Ministries in Canfield.
- Grange Insurance employees painted the Sojourner House for Compass Family & Community Services.
- Employees at the Youngstown State University Alumni & Events Management and the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber did landscaping and gardening at Easter Seals in Youngstown.
- L. Calvin Jones Insurance employees washed walls and organized items in the clothing center and office at Emmanuel Community Care Center in Girard.
- Employees at Humility of Mary Health Partners prepared a home in Struthers for construction by Habitat for Humanity of Mahoning County. They built the floor, a deck, put up walls and built a shed.
- Senior Independence Home Health workers reorganized the warehouse for the Helping Other Women, Inc. agency in Youngstown.
- Employees from Gem-Young Insurance painted the outside of the building at Interfaith Home Maintenance Service, Inc. in Youngstown.
- Workers from the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities painted a fence surrounding a community garden at Fellows Riverside Gardens in Youngstown.
- City of Youngstown employees cleaned the inside and outside of the courtyard windows at Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic in Youngstown.
- Employees from First Place Bank and Belmont Pines worked at the Oh Wow! Roger and Gloria Jones Children's Center for Science & Technology in downtown Youngstown to prepare the facility for events and field trip season by cleaning, painting, providing administrative assistance and preparing educational programming.
- State Sen. Joe Schiavoni and employees from Farmers National Bank and Huntington Bank took students from the Potential Development Program for a hike in Boardman Park, where they also ate pizza for lunch and played at the Kids Town playground.
- Workers from Casal's Aveda Institute took preschool students from the Potential Development Program to the Bounce-A-Round in Boardman.
- Players from the Youngstown Phantoms hockey team assisted in the nursing clinic at the Rich Center for Autism at YSU.
- Employees from PNC Bank packed food for distribution at Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley.
- First National Bank employees packed food in bags for a giveaway at United Methodist Community Center in Youngstown.
- Trustmark Insurance employees mailed and assembled materials for the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.
- Eastern Gateway Community College workers did yard work and painting, cleaned the library and organized the cupboards at a house in Boardman run by the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry.
- Employees from Northside Medical Center painted restrooms and a storage room and removed carpet at the West Side Community Center in Youngstown.
- Workers with Wheelchair Ramp, Inc. built a wheelchair ramp in Austintown for the Western Reserve Building Trades Council.
- Workers from Valley Electrical Consolidated, Inc. planted flowers in downtown Youngstown for Youngstown CityScape.
- Employees from the Aflac Regional Office, Compco Industries, Better Business Bureau, Home Savings, First Place Bank and Dearing Compressor, as well as volunteers from the Junior League of Youngstown, did blight elimination work in the Crandall Park neighborhood in Youngstown for YNDC.
- Employees from the Liberty Wal-Mart painted a storage shed, benches, picnic tables, cafeteria walls and restrooms, and sealed the floors at Youngstown Area Goodwill Industries.
- Judge Mary DeGenaro and workers from the Macy's distribution center sorted jewelry for Youngstown Area Goodwill Industries.
- Home Savings employees cut grass and pulled weeds in the parking lot at the YMCA in downtown Youngstown, as well as painted a post and did general cleanup.
- State Farm Insurance workers cleaned, organized and inventoried childcare toys and supplies at the YWCA in downtown Youngstown.
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