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Volunteers lend a helping hand to 48 nonprofit agencies in a ‘Day of Caring’

For the nineteenth consecutive year, hundreds of community volunteers spent the day assisting nonprofits with projects from office work to maintenance and repair to landscaping as part of United Way Day of Caring.

United Way of North Central Massachusetts also uses the day to officially launch its annual campaign drive.

“We have 66 projects from 48 nonprofit organizations—over 700 volunteers from local companies, as well as over 2,000 students participating in their own school-based projects,” said Cheryl Becotte from Family Federal Savings. Becotte is this year’s United Way Day of Caring chairperson.

Becotte said the projects included helping schools, municipalities and nonprofits with yard work, painting and other initiatives. “These are projects that the organizations aren’t able to complete, due to fiscal constraints or lack of manpower, so they look forward to this day.”

“In addition to the volunteers, it is the Day of Caring sponsors who help make the day possible for the agencies. In particular, Tyco and the DoubleTree by Hilton have been incredible partners and once again were our major sponsors this year,” Becotte said. 

“The Day of Caring is tremendously important for the resources and support it brings to local nonprofit organizations and for the example it sets about helping people and giving back to our communities. I’m proud of the outstanding response from Tyco’s Westminster-based employees and from all the volunteers across the region who make this event such a success,” said Bob Chauvin, president of Tyco SimplexGrinnell.

Several companies were praised for participating in the daylong event: Tyco in Westminster sent 103 volunteers; Hannaford Supermarkets, 36; Fitchburg State University, 36; Alternatives, Gardner, 32; Shriver Job Corps, Devens, 25; Simonds International, Fitchburg, 22; Fallon Health, Fitchburg, 18; Bemis Associates, Shirley, 22; Mount Wachusett Community College, Gardner, 18; IC Federal Credit Union, Fitchburg, 12; Workers’ Credit Union, Fitchburg, 12; Ayer-Shirley Regional School District, 10; North Middlesex Savings Bank, Ayer, 10; Riverside Village/Schochet Companies, Fitchburg, 10; Unitil, Fitchburg, 10, along with many other companies. 

Participating students included: Ayer Shirley Regional School District, Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg Public Schools, Leominster Public Schools, Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner and Shriver Job Corps, Devens.

Robert Antonucci, president of Fitchburg State University and United Way of North Central Massachusetts board chairman, also urged the community to help create a perpetual Day of Caring, by supporting United Way’s annual campaign drive.

The annual fundraising effort for United Way supports more than 40 programs in the areas of health, education and income. This year, United Way of North Central Massachusetts will deliver over 120,000 services to people in the 22 communities it serves.

The local nonprofit raises its money through corporate donations, employee giving through workplace campaigns, and contributions directly from the community.

In addition, volunteers and the community were encouraged to support United Way’s Hunger Heroes, a food packaging program that assists local food pantries. The goal is to package 20,000 meals. A ten dollar donation, which can be made at https://www.crowdrise.com/HungerHeroes/fundraiser/unitedwayofnorthcent, will fund 26 meals.  

Another Hunger Heroes food packaging event was held at Mount Wachusett Community College, which packaged 20,000 meals thanks to the efforts of the students, faculty and other community volunteers. 

Following completion of the projects, participants attended a barbeque at the Polish American Citizens Club in Gardner.