Day of Caring bigger than ever

What was four to six hours of volunteer work during the 14th annual Day of Caring translates into more than a year’s worth of projects done in Kitsap County.

More than 600 volunteers donned purple T-shirts Wednesday and went to 40 project sites throughout Kitsap County for the United Way Day of Caring. Projects included constructing a wheelchair ramp at Camp McLeod, completing a playground renovation at Holly Ridge Center and painting the exterior of Kitsap YWCA.

Outside the Max Hale Center in downtown Bremerton, crew members of the USS Nevada pressure-washed the exterior and did some general sprucing up.

The Day of Caring event was the biggest in its history said Patricia Hennessy, who said last year’s event brought in about 350 volunteers.

“We feel very fortunate. We are truly indebted to the generosity of the community,” said Hennessy, director of resources for United Way said while at the Max Hale Center site.

Planning for the event begins in March when area non-profit organizations are asked to submit a wish list of projects. Those projects are sent out to volunteers and the Day of Caring goes into motion.

Previous to the Max Hale Center, USS Nevada crew members helped repair furniture, cleaned and moved equipment and supplies at the Kitsap Child Care & Preschool. Hennessy said it was tremendous to think that a few hours of volunteer efforts would provide a fun, safe place for children for months to come.

“A small amount of time can stretch into a huge amount of giving,” she said.

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