WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – This year marks the United Way’s 31st Annual Sandy O’Haver Day of Caring. Non-profit organizations look forward to this day every year for the support they get from the community.

”The amount of support – they think ‘Okay, a couple hours I’m helping out,’ but their gifts last throughout the whole year and that’s just amazing to me.” said CEO of Family Service of the Upper Ohio Valley, Paula Calvert.

This year’s theme is “Raised Here, Stays Here,” and this mission aims to help donors feel more connected to their community. 

”I think that any time anybody gives any money, they want it to stay locally. We want to shop local. We want to go to local restaurants, and when you give to the United Way, your funding is staying here and helping local people, and that’s the whole meaning behind the ‘Raised Here Stays Here’ theme.”

Jess Rine – Executive Director of the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley

Community volunteers are showing their support through efforts such as painting, cleaning, outdoor projects, and so much more.

“You’re volunteering for a nonprofit,” said Rine, “But you’re doing the things that kind of get forgotten about while those directors are out there busy in the community, making headway and helping people.”

One of these directors is the CEO of Family Service, Paula Calvert.

”Having a nonprofit, it’s hard to stretch your budget. So, the Day of Caring gives us the ability to get projects done that we don’t have the skill to do and sometimes, we don’t have all of the money for labor. So, the impact of this Day of Caring is felt throughout the whole year.”

Paula Calvert – CEO of Family Service Upper Ohio Valley

The 120 volunteers working across the Ohio Valley not only take pride in the help they provide to local non-profits, but they gain a new learning experience and perspective. 

”It’s good to give back to the community. All of us live in this community, so its god that we can represent our company and help and volunteer for different organizations that are here locally.”

Todd Higgins – Operations at Williams Energy

”It does make you feel really good about yourself, and you learn more about what these companies do for people here in the Valley. Before I started doing Day of Caring, helping with the United Way, I did not know what a lot of these businesses, nonprofits, did do and now I know and it makes you want to get out there and really help.”

Melissa Sadlowski – Accounting Supervisor at Cardinal Operating Company

This day proves time and time again that a little help goes a long way. 

Donations can always be made to the United Way on their website.