Trident United Way hosts 17th annual Day of Caring

Trident United Way hosts 17th annual Day of Caring
Source: Trident United Way

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Trident United Way is hosting its 17th annual Day of Caring across the Lowcountry.

Thousands of volunteers are completing hundreds of service projects in the Lowcountry area.

Trident United Way is partnering more than 5,500 volunteers with 139 nonprofits and schools in the area through 277 projects across Dorchester, Charleston, and Berkeley counties.

One of those projects was filling boxes and sorting food at the Lowcountry Food Bank in North Charleston.

The Lowcountry Food Bank provides nourishment to food families in the ten coastal communities from Myrtle Beach down the coast to Hilton Head.

"This is the biggest single volunteer day of the year," Food Bank volunteer manager Andrew Peiffer said.

Peiffer says staff triples on the annual Day of Caring.

"It started off making a big impact and just grows, whether it's schools, food banks, any organizations that need projects done," Peiffer said."The fact that we can get so much work done in one day as a community makes a big impact."

"It feels really good when you know you're doing something to help your fellow man. That's what it's all about- get back to loving each other," volunteer Kristie McLaurine said. "We're having a good time here, spirits are very high knowing we're doing something for the community."

"We send 1300 boxes of food to children to take home to their families," Peiffer said, "We'll end up sorting and packaging 7,000 to 8,000 pounds of sweet potatoes in one day."

"I've been without. I know what it's like to not have. When chance was afforded to me to be able to award that same thing, I had to hop on it," McLaurine said. "If you can do anything to give back to someone, make sure you do. It's about love."

Hundreds of volunteers making their way to Patriots Point Friday, as well.

Those volunteers, more specifically, are over 500 sailors in the navy.

"There are so many things to do and there just aren't enough people here all the time so to have 500 sailors is amazing for us," Patriots Point public information officer Chris Hauff said. "At the end of the day, the ship is going to shine again."

"Pretty much anything Patriots Point needs to preserve it and keep it here for a long time to come," Patrick Anderson said.

Anderson is a chief at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command (NNPTC) in Charleston.

"It's just a great way to show support for those who have come before us," Anderson said.

"We have a lot of privileges here so the least we could do is take time out of our schedule to help out," NNPTC Officer Arnie Anderson said. "I'm proud to be a part of it."

As they tidy up every nook and cranny at Patriots Point, they are also getting the chance to see how those before them served our country.

"Seeing what they went through when they were on this boat, it's cool learning the history of what I do now," NNPTC Officer Allan Domec said.

"I feel that connection with all the people that people that sacrificed in World War II and before me and I feel like I'm now a part of that," NNPTC Officer Jerrett Hamilton added.

The sailors swept floors, dusted equipment, power washed the ship and planes, moved gear, and many other tasks.

Patriots Point staff said they look forward to their tremendous help every year.

Trident United Way's Day of Caring is the largest community service day in the area. Trident United Way matches nonprofit agencies and schools with volunteer teams that help advance their mission and build capacity - all while fostering community engagement.

Additionally, it serves as a catalyst for year-round volunteer engagement as teams see the impact they can make in one day when they build partnerships within the community.

In 2016, the Tri-County region brought over 5,000 volunteers to complete 275 projects in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties.

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