Hundreds volunteer for day of service events in Jacksonville

Dozens of projects organized by United Way of Northeast Florida

By Crystal Moyer - Traffic/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Hundreds of people in Jacksonville traded in a day of work for a day of service Thursday, as part of the United Way's "Day of Action" event.

The United Way organized more than a dozen projects throughout Jacksonville, including a task to spruce up the Salvation Army Towers Center of Hope downtown.

Volunteers like Derod Moody from VyStar Credit Union gave the lounge area a facelift. It's a space used by homeless men, women and children temporarily living at the shelter.

"It's a nice team-building activity to meet other people from different companies and give back to the community at the same time," Moody said.

Food and household items were packed into boxes at the Feeding Northeast Florida distribution center. It's a food bank that serves hundreds of thousands of families.

"It makes me feel so good," said Jennifer Clark, marketing assistant with Miller Electric, one of the volunteer companies. "I love looking at the pallets we've gone through and seeing how much food and household items we've gone through and how many people it's going to benefit."

Thursday alone, volunteers sorted through 1,000 pounds of food, which provide nearly 900 meals to families.

"We have to distribute food at a rapid pace, and without volunteers coming and supporting our efforts, how they are today, we can't do what we're doing," said Frank Castillo, CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida.

The event also brings awareness to local charities, encouraging more people to lend a hand.

To learn more about how to get involved or volunteer, visit unitedway.org.

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