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Granite United Way’s Day of Caring expects more than 400 volunteers for community service

More than 400 volunteers will spread out through Merrimack County today to plant shrubs and spruce up paint, push wheelchairs and make crafts. Their service is part of the Day of Caring hosted throughout the county by Granite United Way to kick off its annual campaign and encourage volunteer work in the local community.

Val Guy, director of community impact, said the volunteers will complete 58 service projects for more than 30 nonprofits in the county.

“What happens is we really try to use this day, one, to bring community awareness,” Guy said. “It allows people maybe to volunteer in an organization that they’re not familiar with so they can learn about the good things that nonprofit is doing in the community.”

Some volunteers complete one four-hour shift in either the morning or the afternoon, Guy said, and some choose to work throughout the entire day. Child and Family Services of New Hampshire, the Concord Boys & Girls Club, the Penacook Community Center, Havenwood-Heritage Heights retirement community and Lutheran Social Services of New England are all among the organizations hosting volunteers today.

Some of the participating nonprofits are funded in part by Granite United Way and its donors, who can volunteer during the annual Day of Caring projects to learn more about where their contributions go.

“Donors can see firsthand their money at work,” she said.

The 22nd annual Day of Caring in the Merrimack County region also marks the start of Granite United Way’s newest annual campaign.

“We cover a good part of the state now,” Guy said. “Our (campaign) goal for the entire footprint is $7.1 million.”

But today’s volunteer work is just the first step – both for the campaign and for future service.

“The other goal is we’re really trying to make a match,” she said. “Nonprofits work on pretty tight budgets, so we’re trying to create long-term relationships. Maybe these volunteers . . . tomorrow will continue to volunteer for these nonprofits.”

(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321 or mdoyle@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)

You must believe in self torture, otherwise why would you keep reading this "rag"?

9-11 and this rag does nothing to honor the day - liberals are unbelievable

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