Van Wert day of caring helps local families for 20th year

To date, the Van Wert County United Way has collected half a million food items

Posted: Sep. 28, 2018 5:54 PM
Updated: Oct. 1, 2018 6:39 AM

VAN WERT, Ohio (WFFT)- The Van Wert County United Way held their 20th annual Day of Caring Friday at Vantage Career Center, and Executive Director, Vicki Smith said it was better than past years. 

"What we added this year is we're actually taking cash donations, so if you have a smaller business and were not able to collect food, we are collecting cash," Smith said. 

That means the food purchased went further. Just like in past years, the United Way worked with students from the career center to collect items throughout the month of September. 

"They provide us with over 50 kids that help sort, pick up, follow the trucks, and actually help us count all of the food," Smith said. 

Every year it's a humbling experience for volunteers like Smith and students like Hailey Brenneman. 

"It honestly makes me feel amazing because everyone is helping out. One can of vegetables can help a family out and to me that's honestly just amazing," Brenneman said. 

Of course donations of canned goods were needed, but another huge focus this year are hygiene products. Without donations of toilet paper and shampoo, some families would go without. 

"We have really focused on that this year and we have a lot of that coming in, so we're hoping that we're going to make a difference in their lives this year," Smith said. 

To date, the Van Wert County United Way has collected half a million food items. This year, they collected nearly 43,000 items and over $4500 for the food pantries in the area. 

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