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UWKC Day of Caring helps community
DOC Hengst yard work
Hengst employees Kenneth Alexander and Rick Mauro add pine straw to flower beds at the Hampton Street mens shelter. - photo by Tenell Felder

More than 125 community members, government officials and students participated in the annual Day of Caring, sponsored locally by the United Way of Kershaw County. The Day of Caring is always held Sept. 11 to commemorate the day by volunteering in schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations throughout Kershaw County.

“We picked 9/11 because … we remember the bad, but we also remember that our nation pulled together. Today we are coming together to make a difference in our community so we are real excited,” UWKC President Donny Supplee said.

Project sites this year included the UWKC Hampton Street Men’s Shelter, Family Resource Center, UWKC Fair Street Family Shelter, Kershaw County Council on Aging, the Elgin and Bethune’s branches of the Keshaw County Library and various county schools.

“We’ve got 20-something projects today and are working from Bethune to Elgin to Camden … all over the place. We are just so excited today about making a difference in our community,” Supplee said.

Projects for the Day of Caring were selected based on the needs of UWKC partner agencies and nonprofits in the county.

“We, basically, talk with our nonprofit friends and find out what we can do. We have library upkeep, schools where people are reading at … there are a variety of different projects,” Supplee said.

INVISTA’s Eddie Adamson volunteered through the company to read to children at Pine Tree Hill Elementary school.

“We have three projects with INVISTA today,” Adamson said. “This is great for the community … this is our way of supporting the community and giving back.”

As a part of the Day of Caring, the UWKC placed a fundraising thermometer in front of the U.S. Post Office in Camden to keep the public aware of the organization’s 2016 campaign.

“So far, we’ve raised almost $246,000, which is great for so early in the campaign. That’s about 30 percent of our goal,” Adamson said.

Paul Napper of The ALPHA Center, a UWKC partner agency, noted donations benefit multiple agencies in the county.

“We’ve been involved with United Way for over 20 years … you can see how much they’ve grown,” Napper said. “The good thing about United Way is that if you give, you are supporting 20 agencies with your dollars. Everyone has their own favorite charity but you could just give a little to the United Way and it will spread out throughout this county and do a tremendous amount of good. Some of these agencies, they would not exist if they did not have united way funding that allows them to continue.”