NEWTON TWP. — Twelve volunteers from MetLife in Clarks Summit traded their air-conditioned office for the sweltering heat to improve and beautify the Arc of Northeastern Pennsylvania Sept. 3 as part of the United Way’s annual Day of Caring.
The Day of Caring began in 1994 and the value of completed projects has surpassed the $2 million mark in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
“(MetLife) has been participating for almost 20 years,” team leader Frank Santoriello said. “We’ve been doing it almost every year since the start. We’ve been putting a team together and wherever the need is, that’s where we go.”
According to Arc of Northeastern Pennsylvania program specialist Brittany Sanko, the volunteerism is a much-needed help to their organization.
“The biggest benefit is that we don’t typically get to come out and handle the outside work, and little housework like painting and gardening,” Sanko said. “Even getting volunteers to pave the driveway is a huge help because those are things we typically can’t get to do.”
Sanko added the residents are also very appreciative of the generosity of the volunteers.
“They love seeing the flowers planted and a fresh coat of paint where it’s needed,” she said.
According to Santoriello, the group from MetLife resurfaced and painted a porch, painted a ramp, sealed cement on a sidewalk, landscaped around the house and flag poles, weeded and resealed the driveway and sealed the patios at the residence.
“The employees all live and work in the Abington community,” he said. “This team is from the Clarks Summit data center, so we’re able to contribute back to our communities in Lackawanna County.”
The Arc of Northeastern Pennsylvania is a grassroots organization formed in 1955 by a group of parents seeking public education for their children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.