More than 500 volunteers from across Springfield and Clark County are joining together today to go out in the community to clean up and serve others. This is the first year for the event hosted by a group of businesses in Clark County including Co...

More than 500 participate in Clark County Service Day

A kick-off was held at the Snyder Park amphitheater with more than 100 people in attendance in the morning and a celebration was planned after the event.

The United Way of Clark, Champaign and Madison counties, Community Mercy Health Partners, Leadership Clark County, the Community Health Foundation, the Nehemiah Foundation, Clark State Community College and Catholic Central are collaborating on the event.

“It’s all about coming together to show that lots of hands make light work and the all good things that are happening in Clark County will be magnified because so many are seeing what the non-profits in our community do,” said United Way Executive Director Kerry Pedraza. “It’s about coming together and becoming a team.”

The volunteers completed projects at more than 40 different sites throughout Clark County, Pedraza said. The projects included indoor and outdoor beautification projects, she said. Other volunteers performed cleaning and organizing, she said.

Similar projects have been performed in the past on Earth Day, but the organizations wanted to show how big of an impact the community can have when everyone works together, Pedraza said.

“It’s all about celebrating volunteerism and community service,” Pedraza said.

The event coincided with Friday’s Earth Day and more people will volunteer on Friday as part of the Great Downtown Cleanup.

Many adults and students participated in the event rather than going to work or school, said Mercy Health Marketing Manager Carolyn Young.

“The intention is to get out of your comfort zone and experience what’s going on around you in the community, to serve instead of going about your normal activities,” Young said.

It’s also an easy way for people with busy schedules to volunteer, Young said.

High School and Middle School students from Catholic Central performed service projects as part of Service Day, said Senior Alex Sullivan. She helped pass out food as part of the Second Harvest Food Bank mobile food pantry.

“I think the event really embodies our mission at Catholic Central,” Sullivan said. “We love to get out and the community and serve. … It brings the community closer together and get out and meet new people. We get to practice what we preach.”

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