Volunteer opportunities are still available for the United Way of Southern Kentucky’s third annual Day of Caring on Wednesday.

The Day of Caring is a day set aside for volunteers from local businesses and organizations to spend three to six hours working on specific projects requested by local nonprofit agencies who partner with UWSK.

“It’s a day where we put together a ton of volunteer projects across southern Kentucky and we invite people, give them the opportunity to volunteer,” said Mandy Hicks, director of volunteering and brand management for UWSK.

UWSK’s Day of Caring spans Barren, Allen, Logan, Simpson and Warren counties. Last year, 471 volunteers completed 62 projects, which was a jump from 412 volunteers and 55 projects during the first Day of Caring in 2009. For this year, Hicks said early numbers indicate that there will be 150 more volunteers, and they have 94 projects.

In Barren County, volunteers are still needed to help collect and deliver personal care items to nursing homes; collect and deliver school supplies to a family resource center; paint or repair picnic tables in Glasgow parks; and plant flowers and shrubs in Glasgow parks.

Volunteer slots have already been filled for landscaping, cleaning and repair work at the Boys and Girls Club of Glasgow-Barren County, and helping at Barren River Area Safe Space. There are nine total projects in Barren County.

Connie McGregor, an administrative assistant at RR Donnelley, has been volunteering through her company with the Day of Caring for the last two years, and is looking forward to participating again this year. For her, it’s been a simple decision to continue to be a part of the Day of Caring.

“I just volunteer to give back to the community,” she said.

McGregor will be volunteering with RR Donnelley at the Boys and Girls’ Club of Glasgow-Barren County for the second year, and she said she’s been very pleased with that organization and the work it does. Everyone at RR Donnelley who volunteered last year and is still with the company, is volunteering again this year, McGregor said. They felt like they were helpful, and they were happy to give back to the community.

“I think it was very successful, I really do,” McGregor said.

RR Donnelley is the biggest of United Way’s corporate participants in the annual Day of Caring. They will be completing three of the nine Barren County projects, all at the Boys and Girls Club.

“RR Donnelley is a really great example of what we want in a community partner, both in the giving and the volunteering,” Hicks said.

Ninety percent of those who volunteer at the Day of Caring are from local companies. Along with RR Donnelley, volunteers are participating from U.S. Bank, Monticello Bank, Federal Mogul, Spectrum Care and BB&T. Hicks had high praise for all of the companies that send their employees to volunteer.

“These companies actually allow their employees to step away from their offices, step away from their desks, step away from their Blackberries, and get out there and make a difference,” Hicks said.

Despite the large corporate participation, volunteer spots are not limited to those with a company. Anyone can volunteer for a Day of Caring project. Available projects can be found on the United Way of Southern Kentucky website.

“It’s just a great way for people to go out and help their communities,” Hicks said.

Following the completion of the projects on July 27, the communities of all five counties are invited to the Day of Caring celebration on the south lawn of Western Kentucky University’s main campus in Bowling Green at 4:30 p.m. The event is open to the public, as a way to celebrate the completion of the third year of the Day of Caring.

“It doesn’t look like this is a project that will go away anytime soon,” Hicks said.

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