Delaware County IN United Way brings hundreds together for Day of Action

Volunteers reach out to community groups, those in need

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) -  We'll help has been said hundreds of times for the Day of Action organized by the United Way of Delaware County for plenty of community based groups on Thursday.

For Qiana O'Neal who directs the Buley Center in Whiteley neighborhood, volunteers will paint the community center's gym and a classroom in a day that could easily cost $9,000 and days of work.

Toyota of Muncie employees are giving their days this week to build five little libraries throughout the town to provide literature outside of the school or a paper stand. One goes to the Gaston United Methodist Church.

Rebuilding Together and the outreach for Habitat for Humanity are repairing homes and installing a wheelchair ramp for those in need while neighborhood groups get help with cleanups , planting gardens and landscaping.

Jenni Marsh, chief executive officer of United Way, said more than 300 volunteers will be in the community to make it better by providing help to 19 different non profit organizations.

The hub of activity is at the Horizon Convention Center where morning and afternoon sign ups are held at 7 a.m. and noon. Between those efforts, United Way will hold its kickoff lunch for its yearly fund drive that hopes to raise over $1.5 million to help those in need.

There also will be helping those in age and youth in local day care centers besides all the work going into neighborhoods and community facilities.

The rich history of giving of the United Way has been enormous with millions going to people, places and programs 

 Marsh and other United Way staff has worked with First Merchants, the local chamber of commerce city government, Ball State University, Shafer Leadership Academy and Muncie Young Professionals Group to pull off such a large event.

And one of the biggest contributors for volunteers comes from the Indiana Academy for Mathematics and Science where community service is built into the school curriculum.

 The academy on the Ball State campus led by Aaron Lake is sending 40 students to work throughout the city on various social service and other neighborhood projects.

Vickie Barton, IA's executive director, said students learn how being socially and community active can make a difference and make their world a better place to live.

That common good, as Marsh says, will instill more pride among people and help promote helping others in the community.




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