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'Day of Caring' in Florence County supports community groups
By Joshua Lloyd

FLORENCE, S.C. – Hundreds of volunteers from 32 companies and organizations fanned across Florence County on Friday morning to lend a helping hand for The United Way’s 24th Annual Day of Caring event.

More than 400 volunteers worked on 76 service projects – such as cleaning, landscaping, painting, pressure washing and erecting swing sets -- at locations throughout Florence.

Rachel Baggett, director of marketing for The United Way of Florence, said the 2016 Day of Caring has been the largest one to date.

“This is a record-breaking year for us,” she said. “We came really close to getting all projects taken by our volunteer which has never happened. It’s been a great day for everyone involved.”

Baggett said most organizations involved donate to the United Way throughout the year, so this day gives them a chance to visit and see the effect of their charitable giving.

“The more we get the word out, the more companies get involved,” she said. “The Day of Caring is a great way for these companies to go to these agencies and see what their donations are going actually going towards.”

City Manager Drew Griffin was trimming hedges at Lighthouse Ministries and commented on the effect the nonprofits groups and philanthropic volunteers have on this community.

“The people in the United Way community assist people in need every day,” Griffin said. “They do it in way that nobody else can. When you have the opportunity to come out and help, it’s a great feeling, it’s a good thing to do and it moves the community forward together.”

Mindy Taylor, district manager of government and community relations at Duke Energy, volunteered at The Salvation Army, where dozens of workers painted and installed basketball goals and a swing set.

“Our employees really enjoy getting out and volunteering in the community,” she said. “Partnering with The United Way to help the Salvation Army was a natural fit for us. We’re excited, particularly to do the things that will enhance children’s lives.”

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