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Over 100 volunteers unite for the Day of Action


The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va.  — Almost 125 volunteers from various organizations and companies came together Wednesday to help the United Way of Harrison County give back during the annual Day of Action.

Brad Riffee, United Way community impact director, said it’s the perfect way to give back to the agencies that give so much to the community.

“It’s just great to get so many organizations together to work on so many diverse projects,” he said. “Today is about thanking our partner agencies who provide all the social and human resources to the community.”

The Day of Action is also an opportunity for people to learn about the agencies supported by the United Way, Riffee said.

“People get to help our partner agencies and see what they do behind the scenes. It’s amazing what you can learn about an agency while planting flowers, landscaping or painting,” he said. “This day offers the opportunity to network, educate, work together and live united.”

John Fernandez, vice president of operations at United Hospital Center, said while the hospital has been a big supporter of United Way, the Day of Action is a great way to get involved hands-on.

A group of 13 UHC volunteers helped paint and install playground equipment at Community Action Wednesday.

“As one of the largest employers in the community, we feel it’s important to give back to the community and help out those who are in need,” Fernandez said. “It gives you a good feeling to be helping others and bonding with the other participants.”

The Day of Action is a nice way to allow people to give back to the United Way and its agencies throughout Harrison County, Fernandez said.

“There are a lot of people and agencies in this community that help people, and without the support of the United Way, that wouldn’t be possible,” he said.

John Pulice, physical therapist and director of rehabilitation medicine at UHC, said the Day of Action is one way to learn about the different services the United Way supports.

“I think there is a lot of need in our community, so for this we pull together and pull our resources together to help make a difference,” Pulice said, “especially when it comes to things we might not think about.”

There are a lot of services offered by United Way agencies that people don’t even know exist, Pulice said.

“The Day of Action gives us a chance to learn about things we might not even be aware of. This even increases the awareness for us,” he said.

Jim Harris, executive director of Health Access, said the work done by Frontier volunteers at the free clinic in downtown Clarksburg Wednesday was work that clinic staff couldn’t get done.

“We are running a medical clinic, so for them to come in and help clean up, it adds to the aesthetic and gives patients a certain level of confidence when they come in,” Harris said. “Without the volunteering, it wouldn’t get done.”

Pennie Wyont, general clerk for Frontier, said the volunteers were able to pull weeds, trim bushes, mulch, and water plants outside Health Access.

“We enjoy giving back to our community. We take pride in it. We work here, we live here and want to make things better for our community,” Wyont said. “It’s nice to see the final product when the day is done.”

The little things can make a big difference, she said. The Frontier volunteers were able to learn about Health Access and the services offered while they did their cleanup.

“It’s nice to know we are giving back to the community and learning how the agencies help those in our area too,” she said. “Today we learned a lot of things we didn’t know about Health Access.”

The United Way had Day of Action projects for 14 out of the 24 agencies it supports.

The agencies that participated in the Day of Action were as follows: Family Services of Marion & Harrison County, Harrison County CASA, Harrison County 4-H, American Red Cross of Northeast West Virginia, Gorilla Youth Strength & Fitness, Community Action, Harrison County YMCA, People’s Hospice, Scott’s Place, Bi-County Nutrition, Susan Dew-Hoff Clinic, Health Access, HOPE Inc. and Empowerment Through Employment.

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