LACONIA — Hundreds of volunteers fanned put across the Lakes Region and in the Plymouth and Tamworth areas Friday for the annual Day of Caring for the Granite United Way's Central region.
Now in its 18th year, the event pairs teams of volunteer workers up with area non-profit agencies for a variety of needed projects, ranging from landscaping and painting to office work and cleanup.
Sponsoring this year's Lakes Region Day of Caring, which got underway with an early morning kickoff event at Sacred Heart Parish Hall, was AFL-Noyes of Belmont.
A group of volunteers AutoServ of Tilton showed up to undertake a variety of projects at the Salvation Army's Carey House homeless shelter on Union Avenue.
''This is our third year here. We've kind of adopted the shelter,'' said Carolyn Gaudet of AutoServ, who was working on the landscaping beneath the sign on the shelter's lawn.
''We've formed a connection to shelter that continues more or less year-round,'' said Gaudet, who said workers at AutoServ donate funds and food to the shelter and have formed relationships with the families which use the facility.
''They come here every year and do a great service, helping us with projects we couldn't accomplish on our own'' said Captain Steve Warren of the Salvation Army. ''It's a great relationship.''
Paul Gaudet, Jr. said that last year AutoServ workers provided assistance to families at the shelter during the Christmas season and are working to get flat screen TVs for the shelter, as well as filling up the Salvation Army's food pantry.
He said that 15 AutoServ workers, about 10 percent of the firm's employees, were taking part in Day of Caring activities.
Kamal Gosine of Franklin, who works in sales and customer relations at AutoServ, was directing a group of workers who were working on cleaning the grounds and trimming trees and shrubs on the border of the Carey House property.
''We're here to help the people who live here. It's their home for the time that they're here and they need to be proud of it,'' said Gosine, who noted that there were 31 people at the shelter, including a two-week-old baby.
Also helping out at Carey House was Elaine Cartier, senior director for patient care at LRGHealthcare, who was working on the flower beds.
She said that there were several others from LRGHealthcare helping out and that she was pleased to be working outdoors on a meaningful community project.
''It's a great day to be out and I don't mind getting my hands dirty,'' one bit.
Carolyn Gaudet was one of a crew of workers from AutoServ in Tilton who were doing a variety of projects at the Salvation Army's Carey House homeless shelter on Union Avenue Friday. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)
Elaine Cartier, senior director for patient care at LRGHealthcare, works on the flower beds at the Salvation Army's Carey House homeless shelter on Union Avenue Friday. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)