The United Way hopes to raise $1,234,567 in its 1996 campaign.
The United Way of Douglas County launched its 1996 campaign Saturday with the third annual "Day of Caring."
More than 750 volunteers from area businesses, civic groups and campus organizations donated time to help with the cleanup of area agencies.
"It's important that the community is aware there's a need for volunteers at these agencies," Amy Griggs said. Griggs is the coordinator for the Roger Hill Volunteer Center and put volunteers in touch with United Way agencies that needed a fall facelift.
"This builds a sense of responsibility," she said. "To me, success is if one person who does this says, 'This is so great, I'm going to volunteer,' at whatever site they were at."
The United Way hopes to raise $1,234,567 this year. That's up 11.3 percent from total pledges last fall, Griggs said.
"The whole campaign is to raise money," she said. "But a lot of people can't afford to give money, so they give their time. With events like this, that's a great resource."
For Hospice Care volunteer Shalley Gasper, time is every bit as valuable as money. Gasper received the 1996 Wallace Galluzzi Award for outstanding volunteer service. She has donated her time at the agency since it opened in 1982.
"I felt very humble," Gasper said. "I've always felt if there's a need, do what you can to fulfill it. I never thought of getting an award. There were 14 other people up there who volunteer with other agencies, and their work is just as important."
Working with terminally ill patients is not new to Gasper. She is a registered nurse and knew from the age of 4 what her career would be. Volunteering is second nature to her.
"I'll do whatever is asked of me, whenever it's asked," she said. "Whether it's hospice or my neighbors. That's what we're put on Earth for, to help each other."
Other United Way agencies involved in the "Day of Caring" included Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Bert Nash Community Support Services, Women's Transitional Care Services and Social Service League Thrift Store.
The United Way of Douglas County is an umbrella agency for 150 local nonprofit organizations.