'Huge success' — United Way sees more than 2,000 hours volunteered during Day of Action

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United Way of Etowah County held its 25th annual Day of Action on June 17, and it was a "huge success" according to Campaign Director Robyn Phillips.

In total, the county saw 57 projects completed throughout the day, with 625 individuals serving as volunteers. Each volunteer contributed 3.5 hours of work each, which totals to 2,187.5 hours of volunteer work total for the day.

This work, according to Phillips, has an estimated value of $62,431.25 that was "given back to our community."

"Most of our projects have been consistent," she said, "However, we had to cancel 10 projects due to no one signing up. Most of the projects were pressure washing and other outside projects. It was very hot the entire week, several days had heat advisories, leading up to that day, which may have caused people to not sign up for those projects."

Phillips added that volunteer numbers also have been consistent over the past few years, but they hope for more participation from the community moving forward.

"We would love to have more participation to help out more in the community. We share how to participate, through social media platforms, emails and our website, months in advance to get the community excited," she said. "But also, with gas prices up this year and COVID-19 still around, some volunteers had decided not to participate."

In addition to the volunteer work being done, United Way has also began taking up donations of supplies needed by its partner agencies and local schools. About $1,000 worth of supplies has been raised so far.

Phillips added that donations are still being accepted, with many partner organizations still needing supplies such as copy paper, paper goods, cleaning supplies, school supplies, bleach and landscape materials.

"We're estimating to get about $2,000 worth of supplies donated by the end of our campaign," she said. "We also have schools that have created wish list items such as headphones to use with their Chromebooks and mulch they can use within the school grounds."

Phillips urged the community to consider helping out with United Way and its annual Day of Action, as it serves a bigger benefit to the community than many realize.

"It benefits our local schools and nonprofit agencies all over Etowah County," she said. "If you are going to be out of town or at work during Day of Action, consider choosing one or more of our agencies wish lists to donate items back to them. Your company can do a donation drive to encourage employees and patrons to support local agencies."

This article originally appeared on The Gadsden Times: Over 2,000 volunteer hours logged during Day of Action