"Day of Caring" draws 6,500 volunteers

Volunteers from Paychex participate in the annual United Way Day of Caring.

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - This is the day where picking up a paint brush, rake or shovel accomplishes more than the task at hand. It also makes our community better.

On Mt Hope Avenue, volunteers work to to spruce up a courtyard garden for the seniors living at the Episcopal Church Home.

"What they're doing here today will be enjoyed by many. It just means so much for us," said Courtney McGinness, VP of community outreach at Episcopal Church Home.

This work site is one of nearly 400 across the Rochester area being taken over by volunteers as part of Day of Caring, run by the United Way of Greater Rochester.

This is the third year Paychex supervisor Brad Zoller has taken a day away from the office to work up a sweat alongside his colleagues.

"You get to do some hard work together and it really is just a good team-building activity," Zoller told 13WHAM's Jane Flasch. "I have a passion for it; I like helping out in the community."

Across town, hope grows in a vacant parking lot where another group of volunteers build raised planters.

"A house used to be here - a dilapidated house," said Pastor Cindy Rasmussen of St. Mark's & St. John's Church. "They razed that house and now we're putting in a vegetable garden for the neighborhood."

The food harvested from this community will feed neighbors along Rosewood Terrace. The volunteers working at the site - and those we found painting likes on the basketball court at Villa of Hope - will tell you they're also feeding something in themselves.

"We actually closed our offices today so all of our agents could be a part of this," said Anthony Butera, who works for Keller Williams Realty. "We do business in this community so giving back is really important to us."

They are three projects - yet one this day in this community the good is multiplied by 6,500 volunteers at nearly 400 different work sites.

Small projects that, when added together on the United Day of Caring, make a huge difference in the community.

"We're giving back because someone gave to us," said Rodney McGill of Winn Companies.

If you would like to sign up to volunteer for Day of Caring next year, you can contact the United Way of Greater Rochester next February. Any agency who would like volunteers to visit their site can contact the United Way of Greater Rochester next January to sign themselves up.

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