Thousands of volunteers participate in Charleston area Day of Caring

An estimated 8,000 volunteers fanned out across the greater Charleston area Friday to perform service projects for Trident United Way’s annual Day of Caring event.

“It’s a chance to meet some co-workers I don’t know, and to give back,” said Lydia Rowe, an Internet solutions coordinator with Blackbaud, who was part of a team painting Water Missions International’s facility in North Charleston.

Rowe said the project was also a good way to see firsthand the work of Water Missions, a nonprofit group that’s also a Blackbaud client.

Outside the building, a team from Charleston Water System was busy landscaping a part of the Water Missions property.

It was one of more than 300 projects underway in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties.

Volunteers painted schools, cleaned up parks, built wheelchair ramps for the elderly, offered tutoring, collected donated supplies, and more.

Trident United Way spokesman Barry Waldman said the area has the most Day of Caring volunteers, per capita, in the nation.

“We think that’s awesome,” he said. “If we could multiply that by 365 days a year, that would be great.”

Waldman estimated the one-day effort was worth at least $1.5 million in volunteered labor.

At the Lowcountry Food Bank, billionaire philanthropist Anita Zucker, the CEO of Intertech Group, was with a team from her company packing food boxes that will be distributed through area schools.

“Time is every bit as important as treasure,” Zucker said. “It helps to know I’m going to make a difference for a child, and for seniors.”

Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or Twitter @DSladeNews.

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