United Way holds inaugural Youth Day of Caring

United Way of Fort Smith Area will host the area’s first Youth Day of Caring on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Area high school and college students will volunteer at locations throughout Fort Smith, Ozark and Van Buren on projects benefitting United Way agencies.

High school students from Fort Smith, Ozark and Van Buren, and students from Arkansas Tech University-Ozark campus and the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, will lend their time and talents to help paint walls, clean up buildings and interact with clients at eight United Way Community Partners. Projects will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will wrap-up by noon at each location.

“We are very excited to sponsor a Day of Caring geared toward engaging youth in our area,” Tom Minton, United Way executive director, said in a statement. “We have had tremendous success with our April Day of Caring involving companies and their employees and we look forward to partnering with schools and their students on this new endeavor.”

United Way encourages individuals to give, advocate and volunteer to help better communities and support others in need. Locally, the organization hopes the event will help engage more young people and expose them to volunteer opportunities in their own area.

“The Board of Directors wanted to reach out to the youth of our area in order to share United Way’s good work with them and develop future volunteers who are invested in our communities,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, United Way Board Member and YDOC chair. “The Youth Day of Caring is designed to accomplish these goals.”

Following the morning projects, volunteers will gather at USA Truck in Van Buren. The company will sponsor a thank you lunch beginning at 12:30 p.m. All volunteers will also receive a YDOC t-shirt in recognition of their hard work.

Youth Day of Caring is sponsored by Arkansas Tech University Ozark, First National Bank of Fort Smith, USA Truck, Gerdau MacSteel, BancorpSouth, OG&E and Arkansas Valley Electric.

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For more information, contact United Way of Fort Smith Area at (479) 782-1311 or visit the organization’s website.

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