News-Sun photo by SAMANTHA GHOLAR Sue Kimmell, Mike McMillan and Clell Ford tidy up and make repairs Wednesday morning at the site of the Boys and Girls Club future Emporium building. The three volunteers were a few of the many United Way Day of Caring workers who lent a hand throughout the county.
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published: Thursday, May 02, 2013
Volunteers get put to work for Day of Caring
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING -- United Way volunteers take spring cleaning to a whole other level during their annual Day of Caring duties. Hundreds of volunteers rolled up their sleeves and got to work at various places throughout the county Wednesday morning.
The United Way partners with numerous businesses throughout the Heartland - businesses that each year lend a helping hand back to the United Way.
Highlands Regional Medical Center, the City of Sebring, Alan Jay Automotive Network, Highlands County Board of County Commission, Publix and many other businesses joined together with fellow co-workers to revitalize some of the area's most well-known establishments.
The Day of Caring brought out nearly 400 volunteers to serve and give back as a vital part of the upkeep of many community non-profit organizations.
HCBCC employees took on a huge task Wednesday as they got down and dirty at 435 Pomegranate in downtown Sebring. The long-vacant building is being renovated to serve as the new location for the Boys and Girls Club Emporium. Since its opening last spring, the Emporium has quickly outgrown its space on Circle Drive. The Boys and Girls Club acquired the new space two weeks ago and have begun cleaning up the unused space.
Emporium manager Levon Stukes was grateful for the help from volunteers.
"I'm going to work them as long as I have them here," Stukes said with a chuckle. "Right now they are just doing basic clean up: vacuuming, wiping down windows and counters, sorting threw old things. Later on we will install some shelves and get a few of the offices set up. The more I can get done while they are here, the less things I have to do by myself."
Rookie Day of Caring volunteer April Hartseil was busy cleaning up garbage and wiping down doors Wednesday morning.
"This is my first year ever volunteering. I've been working with code enforcement for 13 years and I've never done one (Day of Caring) ... I just thought 'OK, this is my year.' So here I am," Hartseil said.
Just a few streets over, Alan Jay employees were putting in some serious work at the Highlands Art League, painting, pruning, cutting and chopping.
New coats of paint on the HAL's Yellow House were being applied, weeds around the property were being pulled, new benches were being installed outside the buildings in addition to a general cleaning.
Two volunteers -- Joel Timmons and David Rivers -- are no stranger to the Day of Caring.
"We've been doing this about 17 years," Timmons said.
"It's been about 17, 18 years, yeah. We've been doing it for as long as I can remember," Rivera said.
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