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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Nashua United Way seeking volunteers to fill out Day of Caring roster

NASHUA – United Way of Greater Nashua personnel are busy matching up volunteers with their list of projects for this year’s 23rd annual Day of Caring, and at the same time encouraging groups and individuals to register to fill the vacancies that inevitably come up.

“It’s kind of a balancing act,” United Way spokeswoman Lisa Conti said Tuesday. “We’re starting to match up the volunteers with projects now, and are still looking for more (volunteers) to sign up because we do anticipate there will be vacancies.” ...

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NASHUA – United Way of Greater Nashua personnel are busy matching up volunteers with their list of projects for this year’s 23rd annual Day of Caring, and at the same time encouraging groups and individuals to register to fill the vacancies that inevitably come up.

“It’s kind of a balancing act,” United Way spokeswoman Lisa Conti said Tuesday. “We’re starting to match up the volunteers with projects now, and are still looking for more (volunteers) to sign up because we do anticipate there will be vacancies.”

The Day of Caring, taking place this year on Wednesday, Sept. 10, is a daylong event that partners volunteer teams from various local businesses with social-service and nonprofit agencies that need repair, cleaning or light renovation work done, but don’t have the means to do it.

Conti said that teams and individuals are welcome to sign up. Roughly two-thirds of this year’s 300 spots have been filled, and more are expected to commit in the coming days.

Those who sign up now may be put on a waiting list, Conti said, but it’s likely a number of those will be called in to fill vacancies.

For more information on the Day of Caring and how to sign up, go to www.unitedwaynashua.org and find “Day of Caring” links. Questions can also be directed to Deborah Tighe at 882-4011, ext. 11, or dtighe@unitedwaynashua.org.

Exactly how many wait-list volunteers will be needed will become clearer over the next 10 days or so, Conti said, when the United Way begins sending out assignments. While there are a significant number of businesses that have sent a team to Day of Caring since its inception – and can be counted on each year, Conti said – there are also those who sign up with good intentions but then need to cancel. “Sometimes conflicts develop; when that happens is when we pull volunteers from the waiting list,” she said.

This year there are 38 project sites on the schedule. A typical Day of Caring day runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., although times can vary a little depending on the nature of the project.

Conti said that people who want to be involved but can’t devote an entire day can help by donating food and personal supplies through the “Stuff-the-Truck” drive.

That Day of Caring component was launched three years ago in partnership with UPS, which parks a colorfully-decorated delivery van at St. Philip Church from 7 a.m.–5:30 p.m., when donors can stop by and “stuff the truck” with non-perishable foot items and new cleaning supplies, toiletries, diapers and other personal care items.

The goods benefit local food pantries and shelters, including Marguerite’s Place, Mary’s House, The Front Door Agency and Bridges.

Day of Caring volunteers, meanwhile, report directly to their assigned site in the morning. After they are done for the day, they are invited to a volunteer appreciation barbecue at St. Philip Church, 500 West Hollis St.

A brief speaking program takes place at the barbecue, which features food, music, giveaways and raffle prizes and marks the official kickoff of the United Way’s 2014-15 campaign. The highlight of the program is the presentation of the United Way’s annual Max I. Silber Community Service Award. The honor, won last year by former Telegraph publisher Terry Williams, is given to a local person “who exemplifies the ideals of community service and volunteerism” that the late Max Silber personified.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443 or dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Shalhoup on Twitter (@Telegraph_DeanS).