News & Events
MHC Teams Up With Madison County United Way for Day of Caring
The services provided by nonprofit agencies are often restricted by lean staffing and funding. But several Madison County agencies got a shot in the arm on Saturday, August 27, when over 300 volunteers turned out for the seventh annual Day of Caring in Madison County.
This is the seventh year that United Way of Madison County and Mars Hill College have teamed up to organize the Day of Caring event, which brings together the traditional volunteer efforts of United Way with the service initiatives of Mars Hill College.
A total of 322 people volunteered, completing 18 projects at 18 agencies in the county. Of that number, 236 were students at Mars Hill College. Projects included cleaning, sorting, organizing, painting, and notably, harvesting 20,000 pounds of potatoes at Fields of Hope in Mars Hill. Those potatoes will go to feed families in crisis situations through Neighbors in Need of Madison County.
Day of Caring is a traditional United Way volunteer event that kicks off its annual fundraising campaign. In Madison County, the annual campaign raises money for over 60 service agencies. The goals of Day of Caring are to involve community members in first-hand experience with area charities; raise awareness of community needs and services; allow contributors to see where their money goes; afford area employees a great opportunity to know each other outside of the workplace, and provide much-needed help for local agencies on specific projects.
For the past two years, Mars Hill College has contributed mightily to Day of Caring by organizing a corps of young, strong student volunteers who are eager to make a difference in their adopted community. Freshmen in Mars Hill’s “Liberal Arts in Action” general studies classes participated in Day of Caring as part of the class. Among other issues, the course guides students in considering the role of service in a life of character. Other students across campus were also invited to participate.
Jan Shepard, Day of Caring Committee Chair, said, “Day of Caring is truly about volunteers who understand and want to help fill the lack of resources continually experienced by local service agencies. So, our support is physical, intellectual and even emotional, as we are standing beside them and sharing with them in the things they do to provide needed services to our neighbors,” Shepard said.
According to Mars Hill College LifeWorks Field Coordinator Caroline Twiggs, the goals of Day of Caring connect well with Mars Hill College’s emphasis on service. She said she hopes that participation in the United Way Day of Caring will introduce new freshmen to service opportunities in Madison County and forge feelings of connection to the community for students who may be hours away from their hometowns.
“From the first day at Mars Hill College, students are encouraged to consider the role of service in a life of character,” she said. “Day of Caring is our opportunity to open the academic year with the very best kind of ‘hands-on learning.’ It immediately introduces students to the ways in which they can make a difference in Madison County, and, importantly, it often opens doors to a long-term relationship of service for our students.”