Andrew Dys

Day of Caring shows community, volunteers really do care for needy

For some of Rock Hill’s neediest people, a dental screening for aching teeth or a check for diabetes or other ailments is something other people get. Just getting a bag of food to get through the week, is somewhere else.

One single mother, walking down Rock Hill’s Crawford Road with three kids, said Saturday, “It is almost like nobody cares.”

That changed Saturday for that lady and her kids, and hundreds more, as a small army of volunteers came together at the Emmett Scott Recreation Center on Crawford Road for what was simply called “Project Connect – A Day of Caring.”

Rock Hill’s Weed and Seed Program teamed up with the United Way of York County for an event offering dental and health screenings that checked for high blood pressure and diabetic problems. There were chances for people to find out where affordable housing is, and how to apply for it, as well as chances to learn about educational opportunities for adults.

For those who needed something as simple as a haircut, barbers cut hair.

For kids, there were games and food and smiles.

All to show people that somebody cares.

“I was able to give my time, my energy, some of the knowledge I have, to help people,” said Tabitha Cousar, who works at Wells Fargo, but gave up her Saturday to help others. “This is what a community does – it reaches out and helps those who need it.”

The lady with the three kids walking in despair, found a smile, discovering that people such as Cousar do not look past them.

The volunteers included Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts troops, a ministry from Fort Mill, and a church group. The volunteers gave out clothing to those who have almost none, as well as giant bags of food. The bags had fresh produce and canned goods, all donated by Second Harvest Food bank.

Dorene Boular, who coordinated the event for the City of Rock Hill, said the event helped hundreds of people.

Leah Henry, a public health graduate student who volunteered to help, said she saw the volunteer opportunity first as a way to satisfy requirements for school, but realized immediately that her service was far more than something she needed to do for a grade.

“The reward is giving of yourself, and helping people,” Henry said. “It is connecting with people, with their spirit, and showing love.”

Andrew Dys •  803-329-4065 •