United Way volunteers help out around Dartmouth

By Mary Macedo | Sep 15, 2017
Photo by: Mary Macedo Andrea Alfonso and Adam Defrias picking tomatoes to harvest for the United Way's Annual Day of Caring.

Bent down in the fields, hands covered in dirt, BankFive volunteers Adam Defrias and Andrea Alfonso picked fresh tomatoes at the Sharing the Harvest Community Farm at the YMCA.

The two were at the YMCA volunteering their time to help harvest produce as part of the United Way’s annual Day of Caring. The event matched volunteers with organizations in need of volunteers across the South Coast on September 15.

Defrias is no stranger to volunteering, and was eager to get his hands dirty to help support the farm, which provides food to pantries and families in need.

Standing by the United Way food truck, driver Michael Amado said that the organization collects somewhere between 65,000 to 90,000 pounds of food for people in Fall River, New Bedford, Dartmouth, Wareham, and Fairhaven.

"We take the food to serve pantries, soup kitchens, Council on Agings in the area," Amado said.

At the Schwartz Center, the second Dartmouth Day of Caring location, a team of four United Way volunteers gathered in a conference room at to fold t-shirts in preparation for the center’s annual Superhero Walk and 5K on September 16.

Volunteer Corron Grasela, who was busy helping with the preparation work, noted volunteers can choose which locations they want to volunteer at during the Day of Caring. Grasela chose to help the center with its 5K.

"This is our 29th annual walk; this is also the second year for the 5K," said Schwartz Center Special Events Coordinator Katie Wood.

Every year, the Schwartz Center at Meeting Street holds an annual walk to raise money to support the services it offers for children with special education and developmental needs.

"The walk is a superhero theme," Wood said. "Last year we had over 1,000 people participate.... it is our biggest fundraiser."

Volunteers harvesting food for people in need at the Sharing the Harvest Community Farm. (Photo by: Mary Macedo)
Driver Michael Amado and Farmer Dan King said that they collect over 65,000 pounds of food for people in need. (Photo by: Mary Macedo)
Volunteers Maryann Garro, Anthony Garro,  Mike Kramer, and Corron Grasela fold t-shirts for The Schwartz Center's Walk and 5K tomorrow, as part of United Way's Annual Day of Caring. (Photo by: Mary Macedo)
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