Week of Caring volunteers at work across the region

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Jun 20, 2017 at 9:46 PM

There are two shower houses at the Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachia’s Camp Wildwood in Johnson City. One is older and was more in need of the tender loving care it received Tuesday from a fast-working team of United Way volunteers from General Shale Brick.

One of dozens of service projects going on around the Greater Tri-Cities area during this week’s 25th annual United Way Week of Caring, the new paint inside and out of the Camp Wildwood shower house and the prep work that will make it last were jobs the brickmakers did gladly.

Camp Ranger Townsend Range said, “For that large of a project, their upbeat attitude was infectious. They were a treat to work with.”

“And they donated all the supplies, which is really nice. And we’re really appreciative,” said Beth Collman, a grant writer for the Girl Scout council.

“We just like to help the community wherever we can,” said Andy Hall of General Shale Brick, a company known for its volunteer service to many nonprofit service agencies throughout the community.

The picnic lunch of Panera Bread sandwiches and Girl Scout cookies the council provided the volunteers wasn’t bad either. “On the picnic tables in the shade, we had a little slice of wilderness right in the middle of city,” one volunteer said.

And so it will be throughout the week with dozens of local companies sending their employees out to lend a hand and learn more about the nonprofit agencies their United Way donations support throughout the year.

All total, this year’s Week of Caring will include more than 200 service work projects for United Way partner agencies in Bristol, Elizabethton, Kingsport and Johnson City.

A tradition since 1992, the Week of Caring projects improve the agencies’ facilities and provide direct services to their clients. According to the United Way, the projects also build company pride and a instill greater sense of teamwork among the volunteers, improve their understanding of community needs and renew their willingness to financially support the United Way fundraising campaigns in their communities.

Service projects lined up for the remainder of the week include more painting at Coalition for Kids, working directly with the service recipients at the Adult Day Services and preparing 250 bag lunches at Meals on Wheels.

The regional Week of Caring kicked off Monday with a breakfast hosted by the week’s sponsor, Bank of Tennessee, at the Bank of Tennessee Operations Center in Kingsport.

The keynote speaker for the kickoff was Brenda White Wright, a motivational speaker, storyteller, personal trainer and president and CEO of Girls Inc. of Kingsport, who told the volunteers, “Your efforts in the days ahead will demonstrate what living united is all about.”

Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.



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