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Saturday’s Hands On Charlotte caps big volunteer week

More than 500 people are expected to spend Saturday in the 22nd edition of one of Charlotte’s biggest community service efforts, Hands On Charlotte Day.

It is a highlight event in National Volunteer Week, when organizations from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to the United Way of the Central Carolinas recognize those who give of their time to help others.

Hands On Charlotte this year will focus on 20 locations across the area, ranging from sorting clothing at Crisis Assistance Ministry to landscaping Garinger High School, Thomasboro Academy and Winding Springs Elementary School.

Hands On Charlotte organizers say volunteers provided more than 31,000 hours of service in the Charlotte region last year. Information about Saturday’s activities is available at www.handsoncharlotte.org/hocday2014.

On Friday, more than 500 real estate agents volunteered to help 17 elderly, disabled and low-income homeowners across the area with home repairs. One of those was a Charlotte city employee whose disabled wife and two children were displaced by a fire. Volunteers built a new roof and made other repairs.

Meanwhile, United Way officials say more than 6,000 volunteers contributed 17,000-plus hours in 245 projects last year. The agency honored a number of its volunteers this week, including Phoebe Levine and Angela Glass of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, who won first place in the Project 1,000 program. They were honored for their work with second-graders at Druid Hills Academy in north Charlotte.

A number of Project 1,000 winners will be honored Sunday at BB&T Ballpark before the start of the Charlotte Knights game against Norfolk.

CMS also honored its volunteers, including Jo Edwards, a grandmother who revitalized the PTA at Oakdale Elementary School and has spent many hours in other roles; Jack Higgins, a retired school superintendent in Ohio, who has done professional development with teachers at Hough High School; and UNC Charlotte faculty member Sharon Dowell, who launched a project to raise money for art supplies and a skateboard art project at West Mecklenburg High.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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