Helping hands at Camp Allen

Charlie Demers and Robert Jaques of Catholic Medical Center remove trash from buildings at Camp Allen in Bedford during Wednesday’s Day of Caring event.

BEDFORD — Camp Allen received a major makeover on Wednesday when complete strangers took the place over.

The work performed by those volunteers contributed to one of several transformations throughout southern New Hampshire during Granite United Way’s annual Day of Caring.

“Without days like this, we really couldn’t maintain the property to this extent. Today only, there is about one month of work getting done — it is beautiful,” said Michael Constance, executive director of Camp Allen.

Employee volunteers from Rise Private Wealth Management, St. Mary’s Bank, UnitedHealthcare and Catholic Medical Center all converged on the 60-acre property to help clean about 60 buildings.

“Without these volunteers, it would be impossible. Having them take care of these extra duties means that we can take on other tasks and get this place closed for the season,” Constance said.

Some of the work that took place at Camp Allen included landscaping, hauling away junk, cleaning out cabins, sanitizing beds, scraping chipped paint off buildings, taking inventory of supplies, and more.

Camp Allen is a summer camp that serves more than 600 children and adults with disabilities each year.

Helping hands at Camp Allen

From left, Rebecca Sorrell and Jamie Nickerson, employees with Catholic Medical Center, clean cabins on Wednesday at Camp Allen in Bedford as part of the Granite United Way Day of Caring.

CMC’s Sarah Ramsay said she was honored to leave work for the day to help with some landscaping projects and to harvest apples and pears from the trees at the camp.

“With this taking place on 9/11, it really reminds us how lucky we truly are. It is a wonderful volunteer effort,” said Ramsay.

Her colleague, Marcy Rushford, said one of CMC’s missions is to give back to others.

“This Day of Caring event really resonates with us,” Rushford said while clearing out some of the gardens on the property.

“We would bring everyone if we could,” said Lorrie Woodward, one of CMC’s volunteer organizers.

“All of the employees want to give back whenever they can.”

Throughout the southern portion of the state, thousands of volunteers were spread out among different locations helping local nonprofits such as Girls at Work, OutFITters Thrift Store, YMCA of Londonderry, Missy’s Closet and more.

In addition, nearly 400 Gossler Park Elementary School students and teachers volunteered to paint kindness rocks, pack hygiene kits for the homeless and work on other projects.

“Day of Caring is one of our favorite days of the year,” Patrick Tufts, president and CEO of Granite United Way, said in a statement. “We are on track to break records with Day of Caring volunteer numbers this year — a tribute to the giving spirit of individuals across this region. We are proud to partner with corporate supporters, connecting them with nonprofits across the region who can benefit from this incredible day of service.”