Hundreds of volunteers join the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley’s Day of Action

PARKERSBURG – About 300 volunteers Tuesday participated in the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley’s Day of Action.

This is the first year United Way Alliance has participated in the worldwide event and the numbers were impressive, said Andrea Shirey, executive director of the United Way Alliance.

“We went into this back in January thinking we wanted to engage at least 100 volunteers,” Shirey said. “Today, there are 300 volunteers serving from 10 different companies and civic groups and they are already asking us when they can sign up to do this again. It is simply inspiring to see so many people invested in doing good work.”

Volunteers participated in events in more than 300 communities around the world to create positive change for themselves, their families and their communities on the longest day of the year, providing the most daylight hours to serve others, she said. Last year, more than 385 United Ways in 49 states and 21 countries mobilized volunteers on the Day of Action.

Chemours was paired with SW Resources on a landscaping project. Employees also brought members of their family.

“We are thankful for our partnership with United Way and for their efforts to make this day happen,” April Pennell, director of rehabilitation for SW Resources, said. “Many of the items used today were donated, our employees are out serving others, and we are fortunate enough to have Chemours here helping us. I’m excited to see so many people dedicated to helping others.”

Day of Action projects included landscaping, cleaning, assembling materials for clients, mentoring youth, working at the library, washing windows and painting. Companies also held drives during the past two weeks to collect supplies needed by local non-profits.

Some groups were both recipients of a project and serving themselves, like The Arc of the Mid Ohio Valley. The Arc’s Summer Day campers washed windows at the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation while Highmark employees helped at the Arc’s Thrift Shop.

The recipients of the volunteer projects were not limited to United Way funded partners. Two schools received help from volunteers with the Community Service Council painting at Jefferson School and Dominion employees working to clean up the Senior Garden at Parkersburg South High School.

“Parkersburg South is proud to partner with the United Way and greatly appreciates the time and work that was put in by the volunteers from Dominion. This is the first of many projects taking place during our 50th anniversary celebration,” said Assistant Principal Maria Miller.

The Day of Action is about connecting the community with ways to be engaged all year long, Stacy DeCicco, community impact coordinator with United Way Alliance, said.

“Our hope is that many of our volunteers will be inspired today to reach out and volunteer on their own,” DeCicco said. “We provide these opportunities to show people what living united looks like – to provide the platform for service and then encourage them to continue volunteering all throughout the year.”

It was a good day, Shirey said.

“Today is a win for everyone involved,” Shirey said. “When we have a strong campaign, we can make days like this happen. We’re certainly fulfilling our mission to make the Mid-Ohio Valley a better place to live, work and play.”

Day of Action corporate partners were United Bank, Chemours, Office of the Public Defender, Suddenlink Media, Suddenlink Call Center, Highmark WV, Camden Clark Medical Center, Dominion Hope, Community Service Council and GE Retirees.

Participating non-profits/groups are Consumer Credit Counseling Services, Parkersburg Day Nursery, Foster Grandparents (a program of the MOVRC), SW Resources, Children’s Home Society of WV, Jefferson Elementary School, Parkersburg South High School, Wood County Senior Center, Wood County libraries, The Arc of the Mid-Ohio Valley, Wood County 4-H, Catholic Charities and Parkersburg Community Foundation.