Week of Caring brought new volunteers; new projects

Dec. 09, 2012 @ 08:01 AM

FOREST CITY — The students in one Rutherfordton Girl Scout Troop enjoyed this year’s Week of Caring project so much that they’ve decided to make it a regular event.  The high school girls painted fingernails for residents of Autumn Care Nursing Home in Forest City. 

“I love putting a smile on their faces just by doing something so simple,” said Leah King, a member of the troop.  Ali Bovender, another member of the troop, echoed that sentiment.  “They just loved what we were doing for them, and they were so appreciative.”

The Week of Caring has been an annual collaboration between United Way of Rutherford County and Rutherford Housing Partnership since 2001,said Faye C. Hassell, executive director of United Way.The Rutherford County effort takes place the two weeks surrounding National Make a Difference Day. 

Volunteers provide urgently needed home repairs for senior adults and those with disabilities; United Way buys materials.  Volunteers also visit nursing homes and help senior adults and nonprofit agencies who need yard work and household cleaning.

This year’s volunteer effort engaged 300 volunteers, said Nell Perry Bovender, RHP executive director.  Those volunteers helped 18 senior adults, residents of three nursing homes and four nonprofits that provide services to those in need. They also replaced a roof, built four handicap ramps and a porch, repaired a hot water heater and replaced two doors.

New to the effort this year were the staff of the Forest City Owls, Jesse Mitchell, an East Middle student; and the Junior Daughters of the King of St. Francis Episcopal Church.

United Way evolved on the premise of "people helping people," Hassell said, or "many hands make light work."  She added: "Sometimes it takes being involved up close to really be able to see the magnitude of the needs.  The Week of Caring is one of the best ways to show you care for others.”

“Basically, it means that as individuals we probably don't have the money or means to make a huge difference in our community,” she said. “However, together we can pool our money and talents and make a significant difference.  That's one of the reasons why United Way has been so successful over the years.  We pool our money and volunteers to make give big punch that has a significant impact.”

Those involved in this year’s Week of Caring were:

Individuals: Ed & Jeanette Bosgra, Rutherfordton; Earl Greene, Ellenboro; Kenny Howell, Ellenboro Ben Kennedy, Forest City;

Jesse Mitchell, East Middle student John Stroud, Rutherfordton; and Pete Link, Bostic

Groups: Crestview Walking Group, Rutherfordton, Forest City Owls Staff, Girl Scout Troop 20730, Rutherfordton, ICC Building Construction Technologies Class, ICC Student Government Association, Isothermal Planning & Development Commission staff, Junior Daughters of the King of St. Francis Episcopal, Rutherfordton; Rutherford Early High School, Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy Beta Club, Women Roofers, Youth Empowerment.

Churches: First Baptist, Forest City, First Baptist, Rutherfordton, Forest Lake Baptist, Forest City, Spencer Baptist, Spindale, Tanner’s Grove United Methodist, Forest City, West Point Baptist, Rutherfordton, Wilson Baptist, Forest City.

Opportunities to help those in need abound in Rutherford County. To help provide urgently needed repairs to the homes of qualified low-income homeowners, call Rutherford Housing Partnership at 248-3431. For other ways you can provide hands-on assistance, call United Way at 286-3929.