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38 years of caring

Jon Farris of BankWest shovels dirt for a landscaping project outside Stepping Stones as part of the United Way Day of Caring on Wednesday afternoon. (Ellen Bardash / Republic)1 / 5
Bev Schaller, a volunteer with CHS Farmers Alliance, paints a fence outside the Abbott House as part of the United Way Day of Caring. (Ellen Bardash / Republic)2 / 5
CHS Farmers Alliance's Jim Morken paints a fence outside the Abbott House. (Ellen Bardash / Republic)3 / 5
Kourtney Denne, Jen Waldera and Mary Beyer of ELO Prof. LLC repaint a parking spot outside the Mitchell Area Safehouse. (Ellen Bardash / Republic)4 / 5
Before heading out to work on their respective Day of Caring projects, volunteers meet for lunch in MTI's Technology Center. (Ellen Bardash / Republic)5 / 5

Volunteers completed service projects across Mitchell on Wednesday during the 38th United Way Day of Caring.

The event marked the beginning of Mitchell United Way's 2018 campaign, for which a fundraising goal of $444,000 has been set.

This year's 139 total volunteers from local businesses and organizations worked on 22 projects during the Day of Caring. Most of these had something to do with landscaping or painting.

"There's a lot of community projects that go undone throughout the year that get accomplished today," said Kourtney Denne, an ELO Prof. LLC employee who helped repaint the Mitchell Area Safehouse's parking lot.

According to Executive Director Dave Stevens, of the 1,235 United Ways in the country, Mitchell's consistently ranks in the top 50 for per capita giving, and South Dakota as a whole has higher per capita giving than any other state.

Between now and Oct. 26, when this year's campaign ends, pledges will be collected from people and businesses.

"As that money rolls in, as a board we meet to decide how to disburse that out to different agencies," Campaign Chairman Derek Fahey said.