WHO CARES? Lots of People!
BUCKEYE LAKE– Jessica Jacobs didn’t forget her sunscreen. The Ohio State University nursing student was one of more than 550 volunteers braving the blazing sun to participate in Friday’s Licking County United Way Day of Caring. Projects took place in Buckeye Lake, Newark, Pataskala, Heath, Granville, and Utica. Jacobs works for Best Buy—one of the program’s sponsors—while she attends school. She pulled weeds at the North Shore Boat Ramp. “I used to do a lot of volunteer work in my hometown,” said Jacobs, who grew up in Conesville, Ohio. This was her first year to volunteer, as it was for Newark resident Jacinda Yost, who works for program sponsor Harry & David. She used to give money, but would rather give her time as she shined up the Buckeye Lake Museum’s stainless steel “rocket”—it used to be part of a ride at the old Buckeye Lake Amusement Park, which closed in 1970.
About a dozen volunteers from State Farm Insurance got a one-day head start on the United Way volunteers. June is Founder’s Month at State Farm. Employees are given time out of the office for community service. One team chose to spend a Thursday afternoon helping Buckeye Lake Mayor Rick Baker clean up and then replant a flower garden in the median opposite the entrance to the North Shore Boat Ramp. Employees also purchased the flowers and mulch.
The rest of the team picked up trash along the sidewalk on the Buckeye Lake dam that extends from Lieb’s Island to the North Shore Boat Ramp. State Farm employs about 1,000 people at its regional office in Newark. Employees formed 40- some community service teams.
According to a Licking County United Way press release, the volunteer event ran from noon to 5 p.m. June 18. Projects ranged from landscaping and painting to preparing a site for a handicap access ramp.
“We are excited to have had so many people participating in Day of Caring this year,” said Donna L. Carpenter, executive director of the Licking County United Way, in the press release. “We appreciate the volunteers who give their time and the companies who provide the time for their employees to participate and give back to the community. We are also extremely grateful to our event supporters who donated food, water, supplies, entertainment and financial support. In addition Event Sponsorship enabled Day of Caring volunteers to receive a United Way “Live United” t-shirt. Event sponsors include Dow Chemical, Texas Roadhouse, Christy’s Pizza, OSU-N/COTC, The Energy Cooperative, Owens Corning, Fiberglas Federal Credit Union, Hopewell Federal Credit Union, Kaiser Aluminum and LICCO Incorporated.
Day of Caring is an annual event the Licking County United Way coordinates. Volunteers are matched with agency/ community projects throughout the county. The event provides volunteers with an up-close look at the services offered by community agencies and organizations while providing the manpower to get the projects completed.