Home Local News United Way of Richmond County adjusts for Days of Caring

United Way of Richmond County adjusts for Days of Caring

The United Way of Richmond County's annual Day of Caring has turned into multiple days, with the organization helping out several of its partnering agencies, including Habitat for Humanity.
Courtesy: United Way of Richmond County

ROCKINGHAM — The United Way of Richmond County is scaling down for this year’s annual Day of Caring.

Executive Director Michelle Parrish said the organization will be taking on fewer projects this year than the usual 12-15.

However, instead of a single day, the projects are being spread out through the month of September — making it Days of Caring.

The month also starts the organization’s campaign kickoff season.

“Usually, our biggest hurdle … over the last three years has been a hurricane,” Parrish said, with Hurricane Matthew striking in 2016, Florence in 2018 and Dorian in 2019. Matthew made landfall in early October and Florence and Dorian both hit in September.

But this year’s challenge: COVID-19.

“We’re not doing an official United Way kickoff as we have done in the past 52 years,” she said. “We’re going to be just  doing our Day of Caring — celebrating the community, giving back to the community.”

On Sept. 10, 18 and 25, UWRC will be assisting the latest build from Habitat for Humanity of the N.C. Sandhills, working on a home for single mother of three Aurilla Shaw.

Parrish said they are still looking for volunteers for the latter two days.

Also on Sept. 10, volunteers will be stocking shelves and packing bags for Our Daily Bread, packing bags for BackPack Pals, delivering for Meals on Wheels, and pricing and sorting items in the Habitat ReStore.

The United Way will also be assisting with a beautification project at Sandhills Children’s Center, with a tentative date of Sept. 25.

The 17 partnering agencies that receive funds from the United Way are: BackPack Pals; Boy Scouts; Girl Scouts; Leak Street Alumni; Richmond County 4-H clubs; Richmond County Schools Exceptional Children; Sandhills Children’s Center; Richmond County Aging Services; Samaritan Colony; Habitat for Humanity of the N.C. Sandhills; Pee Dee Pregnancy Resource Center; Richmond County Literacy Council; American Red Cross; New Horizons Life and Family Services; Our Daily Bread; Richmond County Rescue Squad; and the Salvation Army.


Parrish said the United Way is also still collecting for its COVID relief/recovery fund, which has raised $11,000 and assisted 1,678 families and 504 individuals in Richmond County during the pandemic.

She added that area food banks have been serving 75% more in the past several months than the previous year.

In addition to monetary donations, Parrish said several local industries have helped out by holding drives for food and hygiene products.

One of the outside-the-box fundraising strategies developed in 2019 was the “Round Up,” with a dozen local businesses asking customers to round up their purchase total to the next dollar, with the remaining change going to the United Way. 

That effort began this year on Sept. 1 with the following participating businesses: Our Southern Roots, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Gifts 4 All Seasons, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Christie’s. FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital-Richmond Gift Shop, Studio 3, Simply Chic and Family Pharmacy.

Parrish said there was a “gracious amount of support” from the community for this year’s Stuff the Bus campaign, held in conjunction with Richmond County Schools.

“The bus was pulling away and people were still coming up and handing us stuff,” she said, adding that all the donated supplies were distributed.

There won’t be much door-to-door campaigning this year, but would-be contributors can visit the organization’s website to make a donation: unitedwayrichmondnc.net.

“We’re hoping that we can keep the community engaged and help support these agencies that are providing service directly to our community,” she said, adding that 100% of local donations stay in Richmond County.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Parrish at 910-997-2173 or michelleparrish@bellsouth.net.


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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.