National Day of Action book drives, other activities planned to help children, promote volunteerism

Published 1:49 pm Wednesday, June 17, 2015

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Each year, United Way of the River Cities celebrates volunteerism by planning a National Day of Action project.

Communities around the world come together each June to harness the volunteer spirit and improve the conditions in which they live for a United Way Day of Action.

This year, volunteers can get involved in a whole host of activities designed to support families and improve childhood literacy in a community near them.

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United Way focuses on Education within its service-area counties. Book drives in Lawrence County and Cabell, Wayne and Lincoln counties in West Virginia, will help prevent summer-learning loss. The book drive will last until Thursday. Collection bins are located in several areas, and residents are asked to donate new or gently used books for ages 0 to preteen.

“Many children don’t have access to learning opportunities and resources during summer vacation,”

said Andrea Roy, United Way of the River Cities’ director of community impact. “Research shows these students lose more than two months of reading achievement during that time. By putting books in the hands of as many kids as possible, we hope to keep them reading and improving those foundational skills all year long.”

The book drive started strong with a generous donation from the Facing Hunger Foodbank. You can donate new or gently used children’s book, ages 0 to preteen, at any of the following locations:



• All Briggs Library locations: Ironton, South Point, Chesapeake, Symmes Valley, Proctorville

• Armstrong Cable

• St. Mary’s Medical Center Ironton campus



• Cabell County Libraries: West Huntington, Main Branch (downtown), Gallaher Village, Milton

• Cabell Huntington Hospital (Cafeteria)

• Empire Books, Pullman Square

Kroger (Barboursville)

St. Mary’s Medical Center



• C-K Library (Kenova)

• City National Bank (Wayne)

• Crum Pizza House

• FoodFair (Lavalette)



• City National Bank (West Hamlin)

• Hamlin Public Library

Volunteers are needed to help transport books to the sorting events on Thursday and Friday, to sort the books and package them for distribution and to deliver the books to local community centers and other recipient agencies. This is a great opportunity for individuals, company teams and civic groups to strengthen their communities by supporting childhood literacy and academic success.

Sorting events will take place at these locations:

• June 18: Pullman Square in Huntington, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

• June 18: Site of Ironton Farmers Market, 1-4 p.m.

• June 19: Wayne United Methodist Church (615 Cleveland St, Wayne), 1-4 p.m.

• June 19: Center Point Church (6785 Straight Fork, West Hamlin), starting at 10 a.m.

“Volunteering has huge benefits for the community and for the volunteer, and it can be a great team-building activity for companies,” Roy said. “We hope people take advantage of these opportunities to work together and make a difference for local kids.”

Also on Thursday, volunteers will help the staff of the Mason County Baby Pantry build shelves, paint, and inventory and organize supplies. The Mason County Baby Pantry ensures that babies get off to a good start by providing under-resourced families with essential supplies to support their babies’ health and well-being. The project will last from noon to 4 p.m., but volunteers may sign up for shorter shifts.

In Cabell County, United Way of the River Cities is partnering with the Huntington Urban Renewal Authority (HURA) Land Bank to help transform a vacant lot in Huntington into a reading garden. Volunteers will build pallet benches, construct a little free library and plant a meditation garden. The garden will be an oasis for readers of all ages and will highlight HURA’s Life-on-Lots program, which encourages citizens to put vacant lots back into productive use to the benefit of the community.

To sign up for a volunteer task, visit or contact Andrea Roy at 304-523-8929, ext. 107 or

To learn more about volunteering with United Way of the River Cities or in the community, visit To learn more about United Way, visit