Erin Smith Staff writer
November 3, 2013
ELIZABETHTOWN — Folks with Bladen County United Way are urging area residents to once again show Bladen County they care by participating in the third annual Day of Caring event.
The event will be held on Friday, Nov. 8, and kick off at 8 a.m. in the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market parking lot in Elizabethtown. Those wishing to volunteer are asked to meet at the Farmer’s Market for their assignment. The event will also continue with the construction of some wheelchair ramps on Saturday, said United Way executive director Gail Johnson.
“There are currently requests for 52 wheelchair ramps throughout the county,” said Johnson.
She pointed out that residents who are wheelchair bound and have no ramp are basically homebound.
“They have to depend on someone to get them in and out of the house. If they have a wheelchair ramp, they can go in and out without help,” said Johnson.
A Day of Caring was established by the United Way in an effort to promote the spirit and value of volunteerism, increase the awareness of local human service agencies and schools, and demonstrate what people working together for the community’s good can accomplish.
“It is a time when we can get volunteers to come together to help those in the county who really need help that get lost in the system,” said Johnson of the Day of Caring.
This will be a good opportunity to participate with service projects in the community at different locations, as well as help with the Back Pack Buddies collection of food and to make donations of canned food items to the Bladen County Crisis Assistance Food Pantry, said Johnson. She added that all businesses and industries throughout Bladen County are encouraged to come together and show Bladen County residents that “we care.”
According to Johnson, some of the planned events for Day of Caring include:
— Building wheelchair ramps: Bladen Baptist Association is heading up this project and will provide the materials for the work while United Way volunteers will provide the labor.
— Reading to an elderly: Take time and enjoy reading to the residents at the Poplar Heights Care Nursing Home and Elizabethtown Nursing Home. Johnson said volunteers will lead activities with the residents such music and games or they will sit and talk with residents.
“Volunteers, as well as the Keyettes Club from East Bladen High School, nursing students from Bladen Community College and the students at Elizabethtown Christian Academy will be visiting the nursing homes in Elizabethtown. They will be entertaining them with music and singing as well as playing games, giving manicures and spending some quality time with those who may or may not have family and friends in the area who are able to visit with them,” said Johnson.
— Back Pack Buddies: Boxes will be on site at the Farmer’s Market to collect individual packed servings of items that will packed into book bags and distributed to needy students in the Bladen County Schools. Items that are accepted for this project include individual serving sizes of cereal, soup, juice boxes, cracker packs, granola bars, pudding cups, fruit cups, Ramen noodles, pop tarts, cookie packs, beanie weenies and Vienna sausages.
They will also accept personal hygiene items for students such as soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, wash cloths, shampoo, combs, hair brushes, and hand sanitizer.
— Food Pantry: There will also be a box for folks to drop off canned food items for the Bladen Crisis Assistance Food Pantry.
Anyone wanting to participate or donate to the Day of Caring effort can call Johnson at 910-879-9843 or Barbara Knight at 876-1535.