Day of Caring Benefits Non-Profits - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Day of Caring Benefits Non-Profits

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Matt Hjelm is one of 700 volunteers who assisted a non-profit Thursday as part of United Way's annual Day of Caring.

"We all get busy with work, life and you don't realize how often people need help,"  Hjelm said.

The day began of volunteering began at the Shrine Auditorium, where volunteers enjoyed a donated lunch, honored first responders, and listened to a kids choir. The hundreds of volunteers then went to work -- assisting more than thirty non-profits complete sixty different projects.

United Way Community Relations Manager Tess Besaw said projects include everything from painting and planting trees to moving boxes of food.

"It's a huge benefit to the non-profits to bring this amount of work in for one day -- just a simple four hours -- and it's amazing the amount of work that can be completed," she said.

Hjelm's group helped Family Service move loads of food to make space for a new floor. Family Service Executive Director Stacy Brown said the organization helps low income families and seniors -- providing food boxes and services like rent and clothing assistance.

"Without the help of volunteers, we would not be able to reach out to the many families that we see in a month," she said.

Besaw and Hjelm agree the huge number of volunteers shows Billings is a community with a giving spirit.

"If we don't have days like this, obviously, United Way, non-profits, the people who need help, aren't getting it," Hjelm said.

"I think the number of volunteers that have showed up for the event definitely show the spirit of the community," Besaw added.

Other groups on the receiving end of the kindness include Head Start and the Boys and Girls Ranch.