Volunteers banded together across Warrick County on Friday as a part of the 25th annual United Way of Southwestern Indiana's Day of Caring.

Of the more than 1,200 volunteers across Spencer, Warrick and Vanderburgh counties,132 gave their time to make the Warrick community a better place.

Alcoa employees did electrical and carpentry work, painted and did ground maintenance at TRI-CAP in Boonville, did ceiling grids and patch and drywall repair at Encountering Hope Ministries in Boonville. They also volunteered at Baker Chapel United Methodist Church in Boonville and worked at the Habitat for Humanity of Warrick County Restore in Chandler and a Habitat worksite in Chandler. Employees of AK Steel-Rockport Works donated their time at a Habitat worksite in Boonville.

Workers from F. C. Tucker, Emge Realtors and Traylor Brothers volunteered with the Girl Scouts at Boonville Middle School. Kemper CPA Group and George Koch Sons volunteered at TRI-CAP in Newburgh. Vectren helped build an irrigation system for gardens at the Newburgh Senior Center, and volunteers also created gravel walkway as well as performed lake maintenance, trail maintenance, fence repair, electrical work and tree trimming at the Deaconess Women's Hospital in Newburgh.

Amy Canterbury, president and CEO of United Way of Southwestern Indiana, said they have grown their number of volunteers exponentially over the years.

"We've taken it from 188 to 1,200 volunteers," she said.

Canterbury said the day is a great opportunity for employers to have team experiences, as most people are workplace volunteers.

"It allows individuals to learn more about how they can help in the community and in the social services," she said.

Donna Harum, an employee with Alcoa who volunteered at TRI-CAP in Boonville, said she is proud to contribute with the blessing of her employer, which paid each employee as if it were a regular work day.

"The needs of our community are so great," she said. "It's the least we can do to give back."

Mike Heim, another Alcoa employee who volunteered alongside Harum, spent his time helping build a sandbox and enhancing the playground at TRI-CAP.

"It's all for the kids," he said. "And we have people here volunteering who were out here when they were kids."

For his co-worker and fellow volunteer, Jeremy Leslie, the work was even more meaningful.

"My niece and nephew attend here," he said. "And I have a sister-in-law who works here. We're helping those families who don't have the funds for pre-school."

Even if people weren't able to participate in the annual Day of Caring, Canterbury said there are volunteer opportunities with the organization all year long.

"It's really a not-for-profit depository," she said. "Even back in June or July, we had about 40 volunteer opportunities."

For more information about how to volunteer with the United Way of Southwestern Indiana, visit: https://unitedwayswi.org/.

Canterbury said the whole point of United Day of Caring is to make the community a better place.

"Literally, it takes the whole community to thrive," she said, "so we all need to understand the needs. And our credence is that we fight for the health and financial stability of everyone in our community and it takes all the communities to make that happen."

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