United Way ‘Day Of Caring’ Taking Place Today

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- The United Way's annual Day of Caring kicks off today (April 26) throughout six counties in Arkansas.

Volunteers will be helping nonprofits help others during the 25th annual event today. More than 1,000 volunteers will be giving their time to several nonprofits in our area throughout the day. A total of 1,700 projects are expected to be accomplished today.

Volunteers will take part in activities such as painting, gardening and visiting the elderly.

Events today include a kickoff breakfast at 8:15 a.m. in downtown Fort Smith. Volunteers are asked to wear their Day of Caring shirts.

Afterward, there will be a ribbon cutting to mark the 25th anniversary of the event. Finally, volunteers will don their work gloves and head to their projects.

There are two new projects for the River Valley this year. Volunteers will visit the River Valley Food Bank where, earlier, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith students drew outlines for murals. The volunteers will fill in that design.

The other new project is at Abilities Unlimited, where local law enforcement officers will line the field to practice flag football with the nonprofit's clients.

"As you know, they're a nonprofit and they work on a budget, so any free labor that they can get, they really just have to provide the material, and actually some of those are donated," said Carrie Terry of the United Way of Fort Smith. "They get the walls painted and landscaping done that maybe they wouldn't be able to pay someone to do otherwise."

Volunteers will work on projects in Crawford, Franklin, Logan and Sebastian counties in Arkansas and LeFlore and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma.