09/21/07 — Volunteers spent their week busy with caring

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Volunteers spent their week busy with caring

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on September 21, 2007 1:55 PM

Using everything from paint to puppies, Wayne County volunteers rolled up their sleeves and opened their wallets this week to make their community a better place as part of the United Way and Volunteer Wayne/RSVP Days of Caring event.

One of those projects was sponsored by the North Carolina Community Federal Credit Union. Their causes were the Humane Society and Diamonds in the Ruff, a local animal rescue organization.

Buster was one of the group's animals available at Thursday's adoption.

The 12-week-old bulldog-hound mix runs around wrestling with the other dogs and having a good time. Unless you look at him closely, you would never know he has only one eye.

Buster was only one of many local adoptable pets taken to the credit union to find a new family. In addition to the adoption, credit union employees also collected pet supplies for the Humane Society and funds for the new county animal shelter.

Buster is a rescue. He was found by a woman answering an ad in the newspaper. There were several puppies, but Buster was in the worst condition.

The woman took him to Diamonds in the Ruff. He was covered with fleas and ticks and had worms.

His eye had apparently been injured, but left untreated to the point where it was twice its normal size, said Susan Wheeler with Diamonds in the Ruff.

"Buster had so much damage to his eye that it was either take the eye out or euthanize him," Ms. Wheeler said. "We chose to take his eye out."

She said having only one eye has not affected Buster at all. "He's a very happy dog. He's not in such pain like he was before."

One of Buster's playmates was Sadie, a huge, but lovable 4-year-old Neapolitan Bull Mastiff. She was turned into the animal rescue after a couple came home from work one night to find her sitting in their fenced-in yard.

Their neighbors saw Sadie running loose and thought she belonged to the couple. What they didn't know was that Sadie had two babies in tow. They were found sitting outside the fence.

Buster and Sadie are just two of the reasons why the credit union chose this particular project for Days of Caring.

"As a personal animal lover myself along with a lot of our other employees who love animals, we just think if we don't take care of them, they won't have any way of being taken care of," said Charlotte Williams, mortgage department manager and project coordinator.

"They need help. A lot of times at the animal control, there are adoptable animals, but their time runs out."

Ms. Williams said the credit union employees participate in the annual Days of Caring because "we are a community credit union and we want to give back to the community."

Sandy Davis with the Humane Society said that there are about 60 cats and dogs who need homes. "They are not just animals," she said. "They are God's creatures. He intended for us to look after them.

"A pet is part of the family and adds joy to people's lives."

Other volunteers helped the Wayne County chapter of the American Red Cross.

Their task? Painting.

Ryan Martin, a 16-year-old Key Club member at Charles B. Aycock High School, helped paint a trailer and spread straw around some of the trees and other plants at the chapter house.

This was his first time participating in the event, but he will continue to do so in the future.

Alden Pridgen also helped paint the Red Cross trailer. She is a 16-year-old Key Club member at Eastern Wayne High School.

"My mom is a big helper with the Red Cross, and she just really encouraged me to get into it," she said. "I'm having fun and helping others."

Red Cross Executive Director Chuck Waller said that without the Days of Caring volunteers, the chapter would not be able to get some of these things done.

"It's a big help to us," he said.

Days of Caring projects will be going on through Saturday.

Volunteer Wayne/RSVP Director Barbara Stiles said she was very excited about the diversity of projects this year.

And she was happy with the diversity of volunteers -- churches, civic groups, schools, businesses, Wayne Community College, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and individuals.

"One of our goals was to give everybody an opportunity to participate and that goal has been met," she said.

So far, 34 projects have been completed at 25 local agencies, Mrs. Stiles said.

Days of Caring is sponsored by United Way of Wayne County and coordinated by Volunteer Wayne/RSVP.