MANSFIELD -- More than 100 people gathered in downtown Mansfield's Central Park Friday morning to kick off the United Way of Richland County's Day of Caring.
Throughout the day, 310 volunteers from nearly 30 local businesses and organizations took on 13 beautification or cleanup projects across the county.
"You're going to make a difference in a lot of people's lives today," said Eric Stigall, United Way's manager of community impact.
Members of the Mansfield Police Department, in partnership with the American Red Cross, installed smoke detectors in dozens of local houses. Employees from Nanogate North America worked on a project at Harmony House, Mansfield's homeless shelter.
OhioHealth Mansfield and Shelby Hospitals and Warren Rupp sent employees to the Friendly House. The 179th Airlift Wing and a collection of Richland County Commissioners and mayors helped out the Mansfield YMCA with a project.
"The Y, they're working on some beautification work ... and today, volunteers will help them get that work going," Stigall said.
Mike Howard, the United Way of Richland County's board president, was perhaps the most excited for the event's kick-off. His enthusiasm radiated through Central Park as he addressed the sea of volunteers in bright green t-shirts.
"This is a great day. It's a great day out ... and you guys are going to do some great things today," Howard said with a beaming smile. "You guys aren't just going to go do some work today.
"You're also helping to build a community. You guys are an example of the things that we can do when we all pull together as a community and we Live United."
The organizations and businesses involved in the Day of Caring included: the Mansfield Police Department, Altrusa International of Mansfield, Advantage Credit Union, J and B Acoustical, Ohio Edison, Nationwide Children's Hospital, STARTEK, Richland Newhope, Therm-O-Disc, Mechanics Bank, Newman Technology, Dairy Queen, Rinehart, Walters, Danner & Associates, Nanogate North America, OhioHealth Mansfield and Shelby Hospitals, Warren Rupp, North Central State College, Richland Bank, RFME Insurance, School Specialty, Spherion Staffing of Mid-Ohio, Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Rotary Club of Mansfield, Avita Health Systems and Summer SLICE.