United Way volunteers fan out for ‘Days of Action’

Published: Jun. 22, 2023 at 6:27 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The United Way of Roanoke Valley raises millions of dollars each year to address critical needs in the community.

Its volunteers also provide ‘sweat equity,’ and this week they’re taking part in the group’s ‘Days of Action.’ More than 125 volunteers are fanning out to help community organizations in Craig County, the city of Roanoke and Franklin County over three days.

The rain postponed outdoor projects, but at the Presbyterian Community Center, there was plenty to do inside. When we visited, volunteers were taking inventory in the food pantry, and applying a fresh coat of paint in other parts of the building.

Karen McNally is Executive Director of the Presbyterian Community Center.

“If we did not have these volunteers here. this would not get done,” McNally told reporters. “Our staff is very small and we would just not be able to work it in.”

At the Roanoke Rescue Mission, we found United Way Board member Jillian Papa Moore alongside co-workers from the city of Roanoke, prepping and painting a new living space for residents.

“The issues related to housing and people who are unhoused are immensely complex, so I think just finding small ways to do something and find solutions are a good way to just make a difference,” she said in an interview.

Volunteers were also making a difference just a few blocks away at a Habitat for Humanity Home in southeast Roanoke.

Kianna Price Marshall is United Way’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

“What I do love is that this year, not only are we in different locations, we’re helping a variety of community agencies and organizations, some that we fund and some that we don’t, but all could use the help,” she said.

It’s not just a symbolic gesture. Days of Action will provide a helping hand and more than 400 hours of community service to deserving organizations. And United Way of Roanoke Valley hopes it will shine a light on the need for volunteers 365 days a year.