Day of Caring today

Volunteers out in force around county

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— Of all the locals who depend upon LIFT-UP for canned goods, used furniture, clothing and household items, seasonal employees of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. especially do, said United Way Director Donna Horii.
"They come out this time of year to get jobs, but there isn't any work yet. They need food, they need beds, chairs they really use LIFT-UP quite a bit," she said.
That's why on this year's Day of Caring, Horii has assigned ski corp. volunteers to breakdown cardboard boxes, dust, mop, build shelves and wash windows for LIFT-UP.
More than 200 Routt County residents, from ages 6 to 66, will be running around town today in matching green and blue T-shirts in an attempt to build a community of caring.
What Horii called an "exceptionally high number of volunteers" have signed up to work on community projects throughout the county for the nonprofit organization's annual Day of Caring.
Nationwide, United Way organizations host a similar community day in October. But by the time October rolls around in the Rockies, it's too cold and potentially too snowy to do all the painting, sanding, building, trimming and cleaning that some community organizations and groups need done.
"Groups and individuals were still calling (Tuesday)," Horii said. "If someone should call (Wednesday) and want to work, we'll tell them which projects could use an extra hand."
Although the 200 volunteers represent a small percentage of the county's population, Horii said the spirit of volunteerism is strong in Routt County.
"It's always the same couple of hundred people who come out and help not just with the Day of Caring, but with all the local volunteer efforts," she said.
There's a job for any and everyone who wants to help, Horii added. Even elementary school second-graders some of the youngest contributing their time and energy today will be making place mats for seniors and picking up trash around town.
Some of the more extensive projects include repairing fences and sidewalks, painting houses, pouring concrete wheelchair ramps and repairing apartments for Habitat for Humanity.
Each "project" to be done is formally requested by United Way agency members, such as LIFT-UP, Advocates Against Battering & Abuse, Habitat for Humanity, Horizons, the Steamboat Springs Arts Council or the Routt County Foundation for Senior Citizens.
While the agencies in need were busy making their requests, volunteers and community organizations such as ski corp., the chamber, Steamboat Resorts, the High School Leadership Group, Vectra Bank, Community First Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Alpine Bank, the Sheraton, Lowell Whiteman Primary students and many, many other individual and group helpers were signing up to help.
Many of the organizations, such as ski corp., pay employees for their volunteer time off the regular job site during the Day of Caring.
This year, there has been no shortage of either projects to complete or philanthropic volunteers to complete them. If you think you might want to join them, call the United Way of Routt County at 879-5605.

To reach Bonnie Nadzam call 871-4204 or e-mail bnadzam@amigo.net

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