Volunteers lend plenty of hands to United Way’s Day of Action

Photo by Chad Adkins Volunteers from Kraton Polymers and Camden Clark Medical Center clean the flower beds outside of the O’Neill Senior Center on Friday.

WILLIAMSTOWN – For the fourth year in a row the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley has focused its energy on helping local non-profits on the annual Day of Action.

“The goal of Day of Action is really about connecting our community with ways to be engaged all year long,” said Stacy DeCicco, executive director of the United Way Alliance. “Our hope is that many of our volunteers will be inspired through Day of Action to reach out and volunteer on their own.”

The event’s major sponsor, Camden Clark Medical Center, had four teams of volunteers working on projects throughout the community. The hospital’s 40 volunteers worked on landscaping, construction projects and painting at organizations that help the people of the valley.

Nancy Morehead, branch librarian at the Williamstown Public Library, said she was thrilled the United Way chose her application for help.

“It’s been a long time since we had a face lift. We were due,” she said.

Photo by Chad Adkins Rhonda Boso-Suggs holds a can of paint for Cathi Emerick on Friday at the Williamstown Public Library.

Rhonda Boso-Suggs, director of rehab services for Camden Clark said the six-person crew she was with painted the exterior of the library at 201 Fifth St.

“We serve the community in many ways, not just with healthcare,” she said.

The community outreach was not just limited to West Virginia.

A team from Camden Clark worked with a team from Kraton Polymers at the O’Neill Senior Center in Marietta. The volunteers cleaned up the flower beds outside of the center on Fourth Street and did some interior painting.

“We are overwhelmed at the support,” said Connie Huntsman, executive director of the O’Neill Center. “It would have cost an enormous amount of money to get this done.”

Photo by Chad Adkins Tom Heller preps baseboards for a new coat of paint on Friday at the Wood County Society’s new office.

David Mongilio, a United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley board member and employee of Kraton, said it was important to help those that help others.

“We always want to be a good neighbor,” he said. “It’s just another way to prove you are part of the community.”

The Wood County Society’s new location next to BB&T on Eighth Street in Parkersburg got help getting the building ready to be open for business.

Tom Heller, vice-president of human resources at Camden Clark was using a hand sander prepping baseboard for a fresh coat of paint at the society’s new offices.

“I think it’s a good thing to support the community,” he said. “Ruby Memorial (in Morgantown) has the same project.”

Photo by Chad Adkins Stella Huffman enjoys the perks of volunteering on Friday at Belpre City Hall.

Heller said he could foresee all nine hospitals in the WVU Medicine system becoming participants in the Day of Action in the future.

Brandon Gress, executive director of the Wood County Society said all the volunteers helping on Friday should be an inspiration for others to help.

“It’s not only heartwarming, but also very inspiring,” he said. “Without them it would be impossible to do the things we do.”

Jessica Huffman, director of acute care at Camden Clark watched her daughter Stella, 6, clean out the flower beds outside the Belpre City Hall.

“This isn’t her first time volunteering,” she said. “She was really excited this morning and popped right out of bed.”

Even though Stella enjoys helping others, she said there was one perk to the Day of Action that she enjoyed most.

“I like it because I get to play in the dirt,” she said.