Pam Shaw had signs of her work written on her face.

The yellow paint she used to update the sidewalks at Casa For Kids of East Texas smudged her cheekbones as Shaw volunteered Friday morning with the United Way of Smith County Day of Caring.

The mass volunteer effort started at 7:30 a.m. at First Christian Church with breakfast, followed by volunteers deploying to dozens of projects across the area.

The crew that worked with Shaw at Casa For Kids Of East Texas painted sidewalks and cleaned out gutters. A majority of the team was made up of volunteers from Regions Bank, including commercial banker Steve Poole. 

“I am glad we are able to help and take a break from what we do every day to give back to the community,” Poole said. “I have four children myself, so I wanted to help at a children’s focus nonprofit and be able to help out.”

Laura Miller, community outreach director of Casa For Kids, said volunteers fill in gaps and free up staff to focus on projects. 

“We appreciate the willingness that they have to come and support us. They allow us to use our time in other stuff that needs to be done, while helping us reduce our daily work,” Miller said.

Michelle Threadgill with Academy Sports and Outdoors chose the Tyler Museum of Art as a project site.

“The Tyler Museum of Art is a great place for the city of Tyler, and one of our former associates works here, so we decided to come help a little bit here,” Threadgill said.

Threadgill and her crew power washed, scrubbed and cleaned picnic tables for the museum.

“We have been doing general household duties and will do light landscaping later. We had a signup sheet at Academy for anyone who wanted to sign up and several ladies decided to volunteer today,” Threadgill said. “Being able to do some of their work for them and giving back to the community is a great feeling.”

The Children’s Park of Tyler was a popular project site and drew volunteers from Brookshire’s. The volunteers pulled weeds, scrubbed stones, swept and painted garden statues.

“This is our second year being a part of the Day of Caring, and we think it’s a great way to help the community,” Kevin Westbrook said. “One of the things we focus on at Brookshire’s is families and being able to help families and give back to them, which is why we chose the Children’s Park as a project site.”

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