Gearing up for the 25th annual United Way Day of Caring

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- The 25th annual United Way Day of Caring is Wednesday. Hundreds of people will be putting the paperwork and emails on the back burner for one day, stepping out of the office and into the community.

This year 1,900 volunteers in Charlottesville, Albemarle, Nelson, Louisa, Fluvanna and Greene are ready and excited to be participating in the largest annual day of service in our community.

"We want to get everybody involved in philanthropy," said Vice President of United Way Caroline Emerson. "Whether you have time or treasure to donate, you can donate your sweat and muscle on the Day of Caring."

Abby Denby, volunteering for Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, will be clocking out of work and into the community.

"It's refreshing and it's good for a change of scenery," said Denby. "It's always an adventure to see what you're getting into."

Volunteers will be getting into 200 service projects spread out across 150 locations.

"We've got people talking to kids about career choices, someone working on a website for an non profit, we've got mulching and painting, we've got shelving, we've got all kinds of things," said Emerson. "Pretty much any skill that anyone's got we are going to tap into that and put them to work on that day."

The Sentara Martha Jefferson team will be volunteering with City Schoolyard Garden at Jackson Via Elementary School.

"We will be doing a lot of weeding," said City Schoolyard Garden Coordinator Kim Nguyen. "In our vegetable garden we might be doing some weed-whacking around the edges and working to prepare the beds for the fall garden."

Spending the day bonding with coworkers outside the hustle and bustle of a busy office, the team will also be beautifying the school's butterfly garden.

"Seems like at work, we are always on a time schedule and we always have an agenda," said Frances Manly with Sentara Martha Jefferson. "So to be able to work with them outside of those time frames and to be able to relax together is a lot of fun."

Numbers are up this year, about 200 more people signed up to volunteer this year than last year. All in all, $300,000 worth of services will be contributed throughout the community.

The Day of Caring will kick-off with a special breakfast at 8 a.m. at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital.

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