WHEELING - Today, as the nation observes the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, many Americans, including hundreds in the Ohio Valley, turned their attention to helping others on what is known as Patriot Day.
At WesBanco Arena in Wheeling this morning, more than 300 volunteers gathered to kick off the 22nd annual Day of Caring sponsored by the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley.
Volunteers from dozens of businesses and organizations offered their time and talents to help other agencies in the community.
Photo by Daniel Dorsch
George Smoulder, executive director of the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley, speaks during the Day of Caring kickoff.
That could mean painting projects, repair work, filing and other tasks the United Way agencies could not otherwise afford to have done.
"I just want to say thank you to each and every one of you," United Way Board of Directors Chair Patti Fast said as volunteers ate a continental breakfast provided by Kroger. "I can't tell you how much your help is appreciated."
"It's just a great way to give back to Wheeling," WesBanco employee and volunteer Heather Corder said. She added WesBanco has taken part in the campaign for at least five years.
The local United Way uses the Day of Caring as its stepping off point for raising its annual financial goal to aid its agencies.
"We like the number seven, so our goal this year is $777,777," Campaign Chair Jim Rock said. He said United Way Pacesetters already donated $124,841.67. "We've already accumulated 19 percent of our target," Rock said. "I'm really confident we're going to meet that goal and surpass it."
Meanwhile, other 9-11 observances were planned today in the Ohio Valley including a Red, White and You Blood Drive being held until 6 p.m. today at Vance Memorial Presbyterian Church in Wheeling. No appointments are necessary.
Many area schools and churches planned events for today as well in honor of Patriot Day.