More than 20 children and several families attended United Way of Merced County’s Day of Action on Saturday at the group’s downtown Merced headquarters. The event included a book drive, face painting, storytelling, refreshments, activities and crafts.
Paige Stayer of United Way dressed as Mary Poppins and read stories to children. She painted a fantasy castle on paper, as a backdrop to the storytelling.
Carol Bowman, United Way of Merced County’s executive director, said June 21 is the Day of Action for United Way branches across the country. “We decided this year to do our Day of Action as a kickoff for a book drive, and also incorporate storytelling and activities for children,” Bowman explained.
Bowman said the purpose is to promote education and health, and provide positive, family friendly activities in the community. “This is the first one we’ve done in Merced. It’s been pretty successful. We’ve had a lot of books donated today,” Bowman said.
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The group is accepting books through July 19. The books will be distributed to children in the community who may not have access to books. “That’s what the goal will be,” Bowman added.
Trent Bartholomew, 9, of Merced and his two brothers said they enjoyed the event. Bartholomew had his face painted as a pirate. When asked what else he did at the event, he replied, “I did the chicken dance.”
Bowman said the group will probably have a similar event July 19 to wrap up the book drive.