PHOTO: Volunteers work outside Williamson County CASA on Columbia Ave. on Thursday, September 20, 2018./Brooke Wanser
By BROOKE WANSER
Painting and potting, a group of five moved around outside Williamson County CASA on Columbia Avenue Thursday morning.
Employees from Optum Health Services and EviCore Healthcare were helping to brighten up the building’s exterior as part of United Way of Williamson County’s annual “Day of Caring,” where dozens of companies lend a helping hand to local nonprofits.
In Williamson County, the first Day of Caring was held in 1987, with United Cities Gas Company (now Atmos Energy) employees participating in a project with the WAVES Early Intervention Program.
Today, that Early Intervention Program is one of 44 provided by United Way’s partner agencies, said Cheryl Stewart, the organization’s vice president of marketing and communications.
“Days of Caring also provides the volunteers with awareness of local programs and how United Way support helps in the community,” Stewart said.
They also get to hear about the mission of the organization. For CASA, that’s providing services to abused children in the juvenile court system.
The “day” of caring actually takes place on two days, Thursday and Friday, with volunteers working at places like WAVES and the Community Child Center in Franklin this year.
At CASA on Columbia Avenue, volunteers painted rocking chairs for the house’s porch candy apple red. Others worked on landscaping, potting mums.
Director of Development Susan Reinfeidt said the nonprofit welcomed the help, especially since moving from their location on Main Street to the historic Miller House in January.
Cecilia Inman has been taking part in the annual day for the past five years through her company, EviCore. She previously volunteered at Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary.
“You just feel like you’re doing for others,” Inman said. “Some people say, paying forward.”
Even during an abnormally hot September day?
“We’ve got the shade here!” said Inman’s colleague Angela Baugh, pointing up to the trees.