Day of Caring: Kindness spread throughout Rowan County

Published 12:10 am Saturday, May 4, 2024

SALISBURY — Caring is all about showing kindness to others and offering a helping hand, which was on display throughout the community during Rowan County United Way’s annual Day of Caring event.

Twenty-two projects have been completed thus far with an additional three that are hoped to be completed in the near future, thereby marking United Way’s 25th year of doing the Day of Caring in Rowan County with an anticipated 225 volunteers giving of their time and talents.

Businesses, nonprofits and individuals visited area schools, homes and local nonprofits to help with tasks ranging from landscaping, building projects, painting and more thus providing both the volunteers and the recipients with an opportunity to be blessed.

That is exactly how Miriam Ramirez, executive director at Capstone Recovery Center, Inc., expressed her feelings about the help they received from members of the city of Salisbury as the center’s front porch was repaired. Ramirez said they provide nine months of residential treatment to women who have had substance abuse issues and mental health affected by substance abuse free.

“Because we want to keep offering everything free, this is a big, huge blessing to us from Rowan County United Way,” Ramirez said. “The city of Salisbury is amazing. The guys work, work, work, and we are truly blessed.”

Ramirez said the joists underneath the porch was damaged and the boards at the entrance were soft, so Keith Trexler, Jason Berube, Mark Mosher and Eric Cox worked to repair the damaged areas making them safe.

At an East Spencer home, a mixture of sawing, nailing and laughter could be heard as members of the Civitan Club of Salisbury were building an access ramp to help a young man who is paralyzed so he can get in and out of the house on his own.

He expressed his gratitude to the group as he said, “I definitely appreciate them. I had to ask my mom to help me down the steps, so now I can just take off.”

The process of building the ramp began with discussion with the homeowner, said John Brincefield, club member. They proceeded to remove the old steps, dig holes to place footers, place beams, fit rails and nail the final boards.

Jimmy Greene, president of the club, said he has been involved with this event for about 10-12 years and is always excited about the project. While he and other club members have helped individually, this was the first time that the club as a whole has been able to be a part of it, and that made it doubly exciting, he said. 

With a laugh, he said he was manual labor and credited others for the organizing of the project. He added that Audrey Eudy, who works at Rowan County United Way as well as being a club member “really pushed this, and people like Danny Norman and John Brincefield stepped up and took charge of the project. So we are excited, glad to be here.”

Eudy said there was a time when she worked out of the county and had to step back from being a part of the Civitans. However, now that she is back, she wanted to go back to the group.

“I love these people,” Eudy said, as she pointed out the laughter going on. “We are having a good time. That’s what we always do. We always have a good time no matter what we do.”

Norman, who has a construction background and is an architect, designed plans for the ramp. He said this was his first time helping and has always wanted to give back. 

“It’s really nice,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for me to help, and that’s the reason I did it.”

Speaking of the recipient, Brincefield said this project “is going to be a game-changer for him.”

A good organizer but not a good carpenter is how Brincefield described himself so he recruited others who could help them get the job done and said they had a good team, which included himself, Greene, Norman, Eudy, Bill Bucher and O.L. Beaver.

This year was also the first time for the Salisbury Rotary Club to help as they assisted with work at Rowan Helping Ministries.

Employees at Salisbury business Nouryon lent their skills to build playground structures at Partners In Learning.

Craig Honeycutt, Joan Correll and Zane Hall were constructing a frame with tires which children could use to either climb or throw balls through the tires.

A second group, consisting of Paul Robertson, Richard Hummel, Melanie Harris and Brandon Mills were working on a climbing net which would be part of an obstacle course.

Several have volunteered multiple years, but Mills said this was his first time and thought it was “pretty cool.”

In helping the organization, Robertson said they wanted to “make sure they’ve got what they need.”

“We just like to give back to the community,” Harris added.

“It means a lot to be able to give back,” said Honeycutt, “not only to the community but also to the kids with hope that one day they will see what’s being done to help them and in time they will follow in our footsteps.”

The organization was likewise appreciative. Woods Early Learning Director Heather Fidler said as a community center, having involvement and participation from the community at the facility and with their families is one of the things they appreciate the most.

“Having these peoples’ time is more precious than anything and their being in our Adventure Forest, nature is a hands-on learning experience that’s highly engaging for all children so, this day is beyond special for that reason,” Fiddler said.

Other volunteers were Barnhardt Corporation, Vulcan, County of Rowan, Rowan-Salisbury Schools, Courtyard at Marriot, David Freeze, Novant Health, Catawba College, Ronnie Miller, the town of Spencer, Peapod, Food Lion, New York Air Brake, Freightliner, Jackson Park Baptist and Rowan-Salisbury School System.

Members of the local United Way team, which includes Jenny Lee, Eudy, Melissa Robbins, Tara Allen and Marc Keith, each played a role in the day as well; however, it was shared in an email that they give most of the credit to Robbins, finance and operations director, along with the Day of Caring Committee and Assessment Team for their hard work planning and coordinating it.

“We’ve been incredibly moved by the overwhelming support and compassion from our volunteers,” said Robbins. This day and the days leading up to it have been spectacular, and we believe the volunteers have gotten just as much from this experience as the Rowan-Salisbury Schools, agencies, and individuals they helped.”

Day of Caring Committee and Assessment Team are Chris Tester, Alyssa Nelson, Bill Godley, Darrell Troutman, Wes Thompson, Chanaka Yatawara, Dr. Jamie Durant, Jenny Lee, Paul Robertson, David Freeze and Regina O’Brien.

Sponsors included The Blanche & Julian Robertson Family Foundation, County of Rowan, Godley’s Garden Center & Nursery, Inc., Cheerwine, Lil’ Shavers, F&M Bank, Chandler Concrete, Vulcan Materials Company, PPG Paints, YMCA of Rowan County, Novant Health, Rowan Rotary Club and Cozart Lumber.