Volunteers descend on the community

Penny Carter stood on a chair and leaned over a kitchen sink to wipe the window clean at Pay-It-Forward House in Sycamore Thursday.

"It's just a good thing to do," she said. "You've got to help."

Carter, of Sycamore, was one of about 200 volunteers who participated in the Kishwaukee United Way's 10th annual Day of Caring on June 19. Volunteers helped out at 40 nonprofit groups in DeKalb and Sycamore. Tasks included such projects as landscaping, cleaning and painting.

"It's whatever needs to be done," volunteer Diane Hammon said.

At Pay-It-Forward House, volunteers were treated to sandwiches and a tour of the facility before being divided into three groups to wash windows and baseboards inside and tend to the garden outside.

Rose Treml, director of the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce, said she's been volunteering since the program began. She said the chamber encourages its members to give employees time off to volunteer on the Day of Caring.

"It's an opportunity to give back to the community," she said as she washed windows.

A few miles away, Beth Ager of DeKalb and her four children, Shawn, 10, Anne, 9, Alora, 8, and Jack, 7, decorated collection boxes for a toiletries drive for seniors in need.

"We were looking for something to do this summer that helps people who need help," Ager said.

As she began painting walls at the Adult Day Center in DeKalb, Alyssa Fritz of DeKalb said she had been looking for a community service opportunity, and the Day of Caring "sounded like fun."

Adult Day Center Program Director Stacy Coursey said nonprofits are grateful for the help.

"We provide the paint and the rollers and they provide the help," she said. "It's great. This just brightens up the place. It adds to the atmosphere. A good environment helps the well-being of our clients."

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