United Way Day of Caring Co-Chair Jessica Hardesty, United Way 2013/2014 Campaign Chair Anita Carvajal and Day of Caring Chair Scott Mull prepare for the United Way Campaign-Day of Caring Kickoff set for Sept. 11, 2013 at First Federal Lecture Hall at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. (Submitted photo)
United Way Day of Caring Co-Chair Jessica Hardesty, United Way 2013/2014 Campaign Chair Anita Carvajal and Day of Caring Chair Scott Mull prepare for the United Way Campaign-Day of Caring Kickoff set for Sept. 11, 2013 at First Federal Lecture Hall at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. (Submitted photo)
Times Bulletin Staff Report

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VAN WERT - Organizers of the United Way of Van Wert County Day of Caring are preparing for the 15th annual event, coming up Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. The event will once again consist of a food drive for the Salvation Army Food Pantry, a blood drive for the American Red Cross, and a number of service projects for United Way agency organizations.

This year a kickoff event will be held at noon on Sept. 11 at the First Federal Lecture Hall of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.
The goal for this year's food drive is 30,000 food items. Donations may be made through school food drives at schools in the county, through the Service Club Challenge, the Main Street Challenge or by dropping off donations at the various United Way food drive barrels. To find a donation barrel, call the United Way at (419) 238-6689.

The blood drive will take place at Trinity Friends Church on Sept. 27 from 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. with a goal of 250 units of blood. Anyone can donate provided they are at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 lbs. and is in general good health. Appointments can be set by calling (800) RED-CROSS or by visiting www.redcrossblood.org.

This year, those donating blood at the Day of Caring will be entered into a drawing with a chance to win one of four $50 gas cards, thanks to Van Wert area gas stations.

The agency service projects have already begun and will continue throughout the rest of the month. These projects pair local businesses and organizations with United Way agencies to complete a needed service project for the agency. Interested groups should contact the United Way office to be matched with a United Way agency.

For more information on the United Way Day of Caring, please contact United Way of Van Wert County at (419) 238-6689, email: unitedway109@embarqmail.com or visit www.unitedwayvanwert.org or the United Way of Van Wert County Facebook page.