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Deadline upcoming for Day of Caring

The name is also the best description: Day of Caring.

The third United Way of Mitchell Day of Caring is set for Aug. 11. Volunteers will be divided up to work on projects across the town. They will paint, clean and do most anything else to assist local agencies and people who could use a hand.

"We've done it for most, if not all, of the local agencies," said Tom Rasmusson, president and CEO of Avera Queen of Peace.

Locals are also offered assistance, such as a woman who had hip surgery and had no family in town. She needed help around the house and organizers dispatched a team, Rasmusson said.

"We got it squared away," he said.

The deadline for volunteers to sign up is Monday. Contact Rasmusson at 605-995-2258 or mail a registration form to Tom Rasmusson, Avera Queen of Peace, 525 N. Foster St., Mitchell, S.D., 57301, or fax one to 605-995-5765. To get a form, call Cheri Hamilton at 605-995-2258.

A business or organization can sponsor an eight-person team for $150, half of the cost in the past. Individuals can sign up for $20.

For that donation, volunteers will meet for lunch at the Mitchell Technical Institute Technology Center, 1800 E. Spruce, at 11 a.m. Aug. 11.

After eating and receiving some training, they will be dispatched to a work site. Volunteers will also receive a T-shirt.

Agencies and individuals who will be the beneficiaries are asked to provide paint, supplies and equipment.

The Mitchell Ministerial Association has been a great help, Rasmusson said, since it knows of people who may be in need of assistance.

Rasmusson has been involved in the Day of Caring for decades. He chaired a committee in Fargo, N.D., to start it there and then was involved in the Rapid City effort.

In 2008, he decided to try to launch a Day of Caring here.

"Well, I thought, why can't we do it in Mitchell?" Rasmusson said. "Mitchell's a great community."

The Avera Queen of Peace Board of Directors wasn't sure he could pull it off, he said, but told him to try if he wanted to do so.

"So I went for it," Rasmusson said.

The first Day of Caring was held in 2008, and 80 volunteers worked on 10 to 12 projects.

In 2009, a scheduling conflict with Dakotafest prevented numbers from going as high as Rasmusson wanted. Still, about 100 volunteers worked on 18 projects, he said.

While he took personal charge in 2008, one of his daughters was married in Germany during the event last year, so he missed it. This year, Rasmusson said he plans to be on the ground to see it all runs smoothly.

"I'd like to get 120 to 130 volunteers this year," he said. "I'm pushing hard."