MUSCATINE, Iowa — Nancy Etnier receives more than she gives when she helps her Muscatine neighbors.

That’s one reason she’s looking forward to being part of the United Way of Muscatine’s fifth annual Day of Caring on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

During the Day of Caring, people throughout the community lend their skills, time, talent and expertise to assist others in the community. This year’s event will also kick off the United Way of Muscatine’s 2012 fundraising campaign.

Volunteers, as well as people and non-profit groups who need help, are asked to sign up for the event in advance with the United Way of Muscatine,  which will then match up volunteers with work that needs to be done.

Volunteers can help for a half day or full day.

 Local businesses sponsor the event to cover the cost of T-shirts, food and water for volunteers. Breakfast and lunch will be served at Calvary Church on the U.S. Highway 61 Bypass. 

Last year, Crossroads Inc. of Muscatine was one of the nonprofits that hosted a team of volunteers.

“It made a world of difference in the outside appearance [of our facility] and uplifted the spirits of everyone here,” said Kevin Duncan, production manager for the agency. “It afforded us an opportunity to meet people from other aspects of the community and gave us some much needed extra help.”

Last year’s event included more than 800 volunteers who worked on 69 projects.

 “One would normally see this size turnout in a larger-sized community,” said Rose Mary Boesen, United Way of Muscatine’s new chief operating officer.

Etnier, director of human resources for Central State Bank in Muscatine, has been part of the team the bank has sent to the event since the Muscatine’s  first Day of Caring. She’s also been a member of the event’s planning committee since then.

She’s washed windows, helped paint and clean and helped with projects at senior citizens’ homes and Central Middle School.

“People are so appreciative,” said Etnier. “The senior citizens we’ve helped bring us baked goods and give us hugs. It makes you thankful for what you have and gives yo the opportunity to give back.”

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