Volunteers from the Ball State and Muncie communities will get together once again to lend a helping hand during United Way’s annual Day of Action event Sept. 6.

Krista Flynn, program coordinator for the Ball State Office of Community Engagement, said this is the third year Ball State has officially partnered with United Way for the event. 

In 2017, a total of 335 Ball State participants helped, and in 2018, the number increased almost double to 608, Flynn said.

“For the last three years, we've been trying to make a bigger splash and to get more and more people from the university to participate. We’ve also been helping the United Way coming up with projects and doing registrations,” Flynn said. 

As of Aug. 28, 188 participants have signed up from Ball State, but that metric is not the final number of participants who are going to show up, Flynn said.

In addition to those from Ball State, Jim Flatford, director of impact at United Way, said more than 900 total people from the Muncie community volunteered for more than 2,400 hours.

This year, some activities for the day listed on Ball State’s Day of Action website include a book drive for people to donate gently used books, a hygiene products drive, cleaning up certain parks, roadsides and trails, and assembling “Little Free Libraries” at different locations in Muncie.

Stephanie Johnson, technology support manager at Mutual Bank, said last year she volunteered at A Better Way, a nonprofit organization that helps domestic abuse victims.

“I always participate because it's great to take a day out and just give and put action behind wanting to care for the community, get out of our own daily schedule, and be about investing in the community and investing in the people in the city that need the most help,” Johnson said. 

For the past two years, she said she has helped coordinate the Day of Action and Mutual Bank’s volunteering and giving efforts. 

“We all live in a community, and so … investing into your community, and being hands and feet to pour into the good things that are going on here and actually making a difference is a big deal — not just for the people that we're helping but for us too.”

Evan Weaver contributed to this story.

Contact Charles Melton with comments at cwmelton@bsu.edu or on Twitter @Cmelton144.