United Way hosts Day of Caring - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

United Way hosts Day of Caring

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August 27, 2004

Lowndes County - It's a day nine-year-old Kenyata Johnson has looked forward to all week. "I've been riding on the swamp thing and bumper cars," said Kenyata.

That may not sound like the typical school day for most kids, but today is different. Kenyata is one of 550 Lowndes County youngsters getting the royal treatment at the United Way's annual Day of Caring. "It's a day to show the public and have the community come together to see what United Way is all about," said Nicole Holder, Director.

Each child is partnered with a volunteer from a local business. It didn't take Kenyata long to warm up to her buddy Angela Barker, even though their tolerance for wild rides may be a little different. "She's nice and funny," said Kenyata.

But today is about much more than just riding rides and getting a break from school, its about giving these kids a positive relationship with a role model, that will last long after the Day of Caring is over. "Its a year long process, you don't just touch this child's life for a day, you want to really try and make a difference," said Barker.

And the kids aren't the only one benefiting from this experience. "It makes me even more grateful for what my kids have and for what I can do to help the community," said Barker.

So when the day ends and Kenyata has to head back to the classroom, she'll remember "There are a lot of people who love and appreciate her," said Barker.

And she'll have a new mentor and friend she can count on.

posted at 4:40 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com