Volunteers work for charity on Day of Caring

September 09, 1994|By Sherry Joe | Sherry Joe,Sun Staff Writer

Jean Hagan was happy to see her United Way contributions take shape yesterday in the form of pruned shrubs, fresh paint and purple mums.

"You just don't see a tangible benefit when you contribute through your salary," said Ms. Hagan, who took the day off from her job as an internal audit administrator with Ryland Homes to help spruce up Ellicott Enterprises, a vocational training facility for mentally retarded adults in western Howard County.

Ms. Hagan joined more than 1,400 volunteers from XTC Baltimore-area companies and organizations in the United Way of Central Maryland's third annual Day of Caring.

The daylong event begins United Way's 1994 fund-raising campaign, which seeks to raise $68,000 more than last year's $27.5 million.

"The purpose is to mobilize volunteers around community service," said Norman Taylor, president and chief professional officer of United Way of Central Maryland. "People will give their time, energy and service . . . and have fun doing it."

About 200 employees from 16 Howard County companies and organizations fanned out to nearly 20 sites in Howard County, where they landscaped, painted and provided job counseling.

At Ellicott Enterprises, about 40 volunteers from Ryland, IBM and Duron Paints and Wallcoverings helped plant flowers, trim vegetation and paint the interior of the 18,000-square-foot facility.

Wearing blue jeans, sneakers and green and white work gloves, Ms. Hagan clipped branches from overgrown shrubs and trees. Beside her, co-worker Carolyn Turner raked the debris into piles.

"I feel God has given a lot to me," said Ms. Turner, an administrative assistant for Ryland. "I want to give to somebody else."

That sentiment was echoed by other volunteers.

Employees from Duron volunteered "mainly because we care," said George Duvall, director of corporate programs for the Beltsville-based company.

Duron donated six employees, paintbrushes, rollers and paint to Ellicott Enterprises.

Without the volunteers, the training center couldn't have afforded the work, said Dotty Doub, marketing manager for the Howard County Association for Retarded Citizens, which oversees Ellicott Enterprises.

"We really lucked out getting this type of support," Ms. Doub said. "I don't think any of us in our wildest dreams expected to get what we got."

Volunteers estimated that supplies and labor for the work at Ellicott Enterprises cost more than $30,000.

"They're going to be thrilled when they pull up in the drive," said Margarete O'Leary.

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