Hundreds Volunteer for Day of Caring

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — It’s been nearly 15 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks, and Tennessee Valley residents are turning a somber anniversary into something positive.

They’re giving back to their community for United Way’s 27th Annual Day of Caring.

700 volunteers are keeping busy, helping non-profits across the Tennessee Valley.

“It’s a great place for companies and individuals to volunteer their time, and really make a difference in the community,” said volunteer John Rutter.

They’re working on 35 projects in just one day. That’s more than $106,000 worth of free labor.

“By donating free labor to area non-profits, it allows them to focus on their mission, and to do a better job of serving their clients, and that’s what’s really important,” said Kelley Nave, United Way.

The mission at the Bethlehem Community Center is to make learning fun for kids, even when they’re not in school.

“The hope is to help them retain information better, but also to help them improve in their reading scores,” said Gloria Dubose, Bethlehem Community Center.

Volunteer Lachanda Davis is from the neighborhood. She says she’s happy to help paint a new reading room for the center.

“Most people would do exactly what I’m doing,” Davis said. “They just don’t know about the opportunities that are available, so when it was offered, I took them up on it.”

That kind of attitude and generosity are what these non-profits count on.

“When they come here, and they spend hours of their day, whether it’s painting, whether it’s gardening, whether it’s repainting the doors outside or working on this reading room, they are literally setting the ground work for a foundation,” Dubose said.

But the work is not over just yet.

United Way organizers say they still have 35 more projects to complete in the next few weeks.

The non-profit provides volunteer opportunities year-round.

If you’d like to help, call Anna Baker at 423-752-0316 or go to


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