ST. CLOUD - Over 500 volunteers were hard at work completing 60 projects in Central Minnesota during the United Way Day of Caring.

Volunteer engagement coordinator Mary Krippner says the work is very valuable for the community.

"The estimated dollar value to our community is $25,267," Krippner says.

Projects done throughout the day included marking storm drains, work on South Junior High and Madison Elementary, Southside neighborhood cleanup, creating origami cranes at St. Croix Hospice and scrubbing the YMCA gym.

Many volunteers came from local businesses who gave their employees paid time to give back. Jon Ruis with The United Way of Central Minnesota says they have a large presence in Central Minnesota.

"Last year we had over 10,000 people that made connections in Central Minnesota to volunteer opportunities," Ruis says.

Ruis adds that giving back through volunteering is beneficial to both sides.

"We like to talk about at United Way that we don't ask for donations or time, we give away happiness, every time you give you get a little bit of happiness back."


Dan DeBaun, WJON News