Day of Caring work

Seth Stephenson, Temple College baseball player, was painting the window trim at Feed My Sheep’s The Well, during United Way of Central Texas Day of Caring on Friday.

While the cool temperatures and added moisture are much appreciated, the cold front that arrived in the wee hours on Friday resulted in some changes in United Way Day of Caring projects.

Many of the Temple College athletes, representing all of the sports teams at the school, were assigned to work on the St. Mary’s beautification projects. When that was canceled the students were assigned to indoor efforts.

Friday was the United Way of Central Texas 18th Day of Caring and 455 volunteers showed up to tackle 22 designated projects.

New Day Learning Academy had planned on volunteers working on a garden at the school, but instead everything was moved indoors.

Administrators with Temple Independent School District were in the gym cleaning the floor. Sandra Atmar, Bonham Middle School principal; Tiffany Weiss, Travis Science Academy principal; Adrian Lopez, Cater Elementary; and Gill Hollie, Temple After School Education Centers coordinator, were pushing sweepers across the floor, while others had brooms cleaning out areas in corners and against the walls.

Bobbie Kettles, executive director at the learning academy, said for the school to be successful it needs community support and she views the Day of Caring volunteers as a way to make people aware of the school.

“We really appreciate what they’re doing, donating their time to come out and work with us to better our school for the students and their families,” Kettles said.

The New Day Learning Academy is an early childhood education center. The school offers pre-K childhood education, afterschool mentoring and tutoring, and music enrichment.

Volunteers from Extraco Bank were painting at Family Promise of East Bell County.

Family Promise of East Bell County is an interfaith, non-profit organization that helps homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response.

Joyce Marcum, local Family Promise director, said she appreciated what the volunteers were doing.

“We don’t have time to do this, but it makes the community room where families in the Family Promise program spend time more welcoming,” Marcum said. “It’s a nice place for families to get to know and offer support to each other.

Family Promise of East Bell County has three families in its program now.

“We can work with up to four families,” she said.

There are 13 churches that host the families a week at a time.

The majority of the families that have been through the program have been successful and are out in the community and doing great, Marcum said. Most of the families are made up of single parents with children.

The Well, the women’s center at Feed My Sheep, was filled Friday with TC athletes, who were painting the different rooms.

Once the painting was complete, the students were going to remove the carpet and replace it with laminate.

The Well was designed to cater to homeless women.

Jacque Bell, a volunteer with Feed My Sheep, said there are usually eight or nine women who visit the program daily.

“They can wash their clothes and take a shower,” Bell said. “There are Bible study classes and at noon they can go next door and eat.”

“Day of Caring is an opportunity for our community to come together and address the issues that matter most to them,” said Veshell Greene, vice president of resource development at United Way of Central Texas. “Day of Caring mirrors the work that United Way of Central Texas does year-round: empowering people to affect positive change in their own backyards, and across Central Texas.”