Each year on June 21, United Way of Portage County hosts its annual Day of Caring, this year’s event being the largest one yet with 100 volunteers mobilized to 15 different Portage County program sites.

Examples of the projects include preparing and serving lunch at The Center of Hope, working with youth in academics and social development at Skeels-Mathews Community Center, landscaping at Miller Community House, pressure washing the exterior of Freedom House, assembling program kits for Junior Achievement, painting at a Habitat for Humanity project, yard and play area cleanup at Safer Futures and Safe Path, exterior painting at Passages, and sorting donations at the County Clothing Center.

"Day of Caring is an incredible opportunity to support services for those most in need. It’s grown every year, and I am happy to lend a hand in helping United Way deliver this important work in our community," said Brad Cromes, Board Chair, United Way of Portage County.

The national value of a volunteer hour is $24.69, 100 volunteers worked approximately six hours at each project helping this year’s Day of Caring produce an investment of $14,814 in the 15 community programs that participated.

"It is truly impressive to see the number of community volunteers that come together each year to help assist local programs with routine maintenance projects, upkeep and landscaping," said Maureen Gebhardt, Director of Community Impact for United Way of Portage County.

The Center of Hope in Ravenna hosted breakfast that kicked off the day’s event. Other sponsors include Honey Baked Ham of Streetsboro, Portage Community Bank and Johnson-Matthey of Ravenna.

Volunteers represented many community organizations and corporate partners including Portage Community Bank, Johnson-Matthey, Kent State University, Ametek, Family & Community Services, Coleman Professional Services, Kent Displays, UH Portage Medical Center, Leadership Portage County, Chemical Bank, Hometown Bank, Third Federal Bank, The New Center at NEOMED, the Portage County Treasurer’s Office, and The Step 2 Company.