Volunteers Help Area Nonprofits

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PLAINS TOWNSHIP -- A little washing, a little raking, and a little painting can go a long way. Just a few extra sets of hands, and more than 40 nonprofits across the Wyoming Valley were able to spruce up thanks to the United Way Day of Caring.

"The community trusts us with our business, and we like to be able to go and help the community in the various ways," said GUARD Insurance volunteer Robert Dougherty.

This year, 700 volunteers from area businesses donated their time to the projects including pulling weeds from the riverfront in Wilkes-Barre, cleaning kennels at the SPCA in Plains Township, and sprucing up the historic Shawnee Cemetery in Plymouth.

It was help that was much appreciated by the cemetery's historic society.

"Because their families are gone, and nobody's left to care for them, it's the community's responsibility to step up and care for them," said Shawnee Cemetery Historic Preservation Society President Tom Jesso.

There are more agencies that signed up for the Day of Caring in the Wyoming Valley than ever before, and some of the people who work for those agencies getting that help say they're not surprised.

"I think the nonprofits in our community have seen such a decrease in contributions and financial support over the last several years," said Peggy Nork from the SPCA.

She says that lack of money translates to fewer staff members and less time to care for their organizations on their own. That's where volunteers like Florence Marchesano from Benco Dental come in.

"We've had so many associates volunteer today. We have 30 out today, and we had to actually turn people down," said Marchesano.

Proving there will always be those who care when help is needed in the valley.