United Way of Central Maryland’s Day of Action Provides Volunteer Teams to Harford Nonprofits

BGE employees Ann Blend (left), Rachel Duncan and Darus Bacote, Sr., help to organize items at Harford Family House as part of United Way of Central Maryland’s Day of Action October 15. (Photo by Cecilia Helmstetter)
BGE employees Ann Blend (left), Rachel Duncan and Darus Bacote, Sr., help to organize items at Harford Family House as part of United Way of Central Maryland’s Day of Action October 15. (Photo by Cecilia Helmstetter)

 

Bel Air, Md., — October 22, 2014 – Forty-five volunteers from area businesses donated their time and expertise to help several Harford County nonprofits during United Way of Central Maryland’s annual Day of Action on October 15.

Day of Action is a component of United Way’s annual campaign, offering donors and other community members the opportunity to get involved in hands-on activities beyond financial contributions. The projects occurred in every jurisdiction United Way of Central Maryland serves—Harford County plus Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll and Howard counties. All told, 345 volunteers from 29 organizations assisted 38 nonprofits during Day of Action.

Volunteers in Harford County assisted with building a new home for Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna; organized various activities for children at the Boys & Girls Clubs in Aberdeen, Bel Air and Edgewood; and assisted Harford Family House with sorting and organizing donations. In addition, sheets and comforters were collected for Anna’s House.

Participating volunteers came from BGE, Harford County Public Schools, Jones Junction, M&T Bank, Proctor & Gamble and WAVE.

Volunteers from BGE assisted Harford Family House in sorting and organizing donations in the nonprofit’s supply cupboard and in its child program area. The supply cupboard includes household goods such as linens, towels, pots, pans and dishes as well as personal hygiene items and cleaning supplies. 

Darus Bacote, Sr., supervisor of distribution operations for BGE and a Day of Action volunteer at Harford Family House, said, “I love giving back to the community any way I can. I was raised in sub-standard conditions so I can empathize and relate to the pain these families have endured,” he said. “I have a passion to help those in need and look forward to continuing my commitment to community service and giving back to those in need. Donating your time and your skills are just as important as donating money.”

Joyce Duffy, executive director/CEO of Harford Family House, thanked the BGE volunteers for their service. “We greatly appreciate the support provided by the employees of BGE and Constellation Energy in sorting and organizing our supply cupboard. Their efforts will make it easier for us to meet the needs of the homeless families with children supported by Harford Family House.”

Another Day of Action project included volunteers from the Communications Office at Harford County Public Schools who assisted the Bel Air Boys & Girls Clubs with a “passionately pink party” for 20 girls to increase awareness about breast cancer. The participants were part of the organization’s Smart Girls Program.

All the girls received a pink ribbon, which they wore, and they also received one to share with a friend.

After a fun activity of decorating pink cupcakes, the students and volunteers sat down for a serious discussion about breast cancer. One of the volunteers shared the story of her mother who had breast cancer, which moved the group to tears. The students asked various questions such as do only women get breast cancer? And what are the four stages of breast cancer?

The “passionately pink party” concluded with the girls making cards to give to cancer patients or survivors.

“Participating in the Day of Action was a great way for Harford County Public Schools to demonstrate the different ways that we can support our United Way campaign in addition to monetary donations,” said Elizabeth Mink, Harford County Public Schools’ United Way campaign coordinator. “Volunteering in our own community with the students that we serve was a very rewarding experience.”

Tiffany Smith, club director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County’s Bel Air location, said, “The volunteers from Harford County Public Schools put a smile on the girls’ faces. They interacted and engaged with the students right away. They walked in the door ready to help. The girls are looking forward to them coming back.”

United Way of Central Maryland, the region’s human service leader for nearly 90 years, works to advance financial stability, education and good health for Harford Countians and other central Marylanders facing poverty through results-driven programs. Working with volunteer experts in Harford County helps United Way to better understand the needs and area resources, both private and public. These experts assist the Harford County Partnership Board to help “fill the gaps” to ensure every donor dollar does the most good. For more information, visit www.uwcm.org.            

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