The United Way of Union County said its mission is to bring neighbors together to improve lives in Union County.

The United Way of Union County said its mission is to bring neighbors together to improve lives in Union County.

The organization's local volunteers work hard to make the community a better place during Community Care Day.

The deadline to submit a project for United Way volunteers to complete on Community Care Day is Friday. May 1. On Tuesday May 19, groups of volunteers will come together for United Way's 13th annual Community Care Day.

Why do they do it?

Mike Heifner of the Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities, recalls a quote by Winston Churchill

"Winston Churchill once said, 'We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.' When I read that quote many years ago, it certainly made an impression."

Heifner said his parents instilled the will of volunteerism into his life as a child and they received a volunteerism award in their small town of Shelby, Ohio, about 10 years ago.

"I often refer to United Way as the 'blue collar' charitable organization in Union county," Heifen said. "It is all about 'Bringing neighbors together to improve lives.' Everyone goes through some kind of tough times during their lives. If one of the United Way agencies can help that person for a short period of time, it may very well prevent that person from losing self-confidence and self-esteem. It may keep them from being homeless. It may be just the ticket to give them hope. That is what it is all about."

Doug Hoy of the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company said he became part of the Marysville community through volunteerism.

"Before moving to Marysville, I spent the better part of four years living in a northeast Ohio community, but not being part of it," he said. "I was disconnectedÉdisengaged. I was waiting for things to be different, for that sense of belonging to kick in without any real effort on my own. It doesn't work that way, though. To truly be a part of a community, you have to throw yourself into it."

Hoy said Marysville was his "dive off the high board and into the deep end."

Upon relocating to Marysville he said he became as much a part of Union County as he could.

"Community is more than a noun," he said. "It's a verb. It's action. It's doing. It's serving."

Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson said he gets involved to help those less fortunate.

"First of all, my family and I are not wealthy by any means, but we are more fortunate than others," he said. "United Way of Union County helps so many people who are down on their luck, who need a hand through a tough time, or that simply don't have anybody to help them or care for them, such as our seasoned citizens. I have always placed a lot of emphasis, before becoming sheriff and afterwards, to look after our very young and our elderly. I suppose that is why you see me on two committees that have a mission to help both groups -- Community Care Day and Youth, Arts, and Recreation. It also feels very good to stand next to other caring individuals of our community who also care a great deal for the citizens of Union County. Together we can and do make a difference."

If you would like to become a volunteer in Union County, visit www.unitedwayofunioncounty.org and click GET INVOLVED for a listing of volunteer opportunities and contact information or call (937) 644-8381.