FARMINGTON — Volunteers and programs at the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area were recently recognized in Greater Franklin County.

According to a press release Workplace Campaign Managers and Campaign Cabinet raised $291,304 in the United Way’s annual fund raising campaign. This money is raised by volunteers who contribute hours sharing the impact of the United Way. Volunteers will also decide how to impact the community with this money by serving on the Allocation Committee in December and January. If interested in serving, call United Way at 778-5048.

The Franklin Volunteer Network recognized volunteers Clyde Ross and Dennis O’Neil as superstar volunteers this year. O’Neil received the Rising Star award for outstanding volunteer service five years and less. Ross was nominated and chosen for the Shining Star award for volunteering more than 10 years in the area. Ross was presented his award on Chester Greenwood Day as he raised the flag by the County Courthouse dressed as Chester Greenwood.

Days of Caring

United Ways traditionally conduct a focused volunteer effort called Days of Caring. The organization expanded its efforts, hosting multiple Days of Caring over an extended period of time. The United Way marshaled 180 volunteers who contributed 778 hours to 11 service projects throughout the summer and fall, for a total investment of more than $16,592. Projects ranged from working in LEAP’s Stone Soup Garden, to the recently completed winterizing of the United Methodist Economic Ministry in Salem — a sprawling series of inefficient buildings that house the food pantry, thrift store and warming center that serves northern Franklin County.

Buttons for Babes

The button-bracelet making project has engaged more than 100 volunteers since July, and raised more than $5,000 thanks to a matching opportunity from Barclays. All funds raised will benefit children 0-18 who are in need in Greater Franklin County, as well as the Books and Buddies program at Rumford Group Homes.

TerraCycle

Under the leadership of volunteer Sarah Martin, and University of Maine at Farmington intern Joe Dignam, TerraCycle was launched. In this program various products — from shampoo bottles to foil-lined granola bar wrappers — are sent to TerraCycle headquarters in New Jersey where they are recycled into other products or up-cycled into functional art such as juice box tote bags. TerraCycle pays money for the products that are shipped to them so the environment and United Way benefits.

Community Energy Challenge

The interior storm window panel program has engaged volunteers to measure, build and install window panels throughout Franklin County since 2009. In November, volunteers installed the 1,000th window panel at the home of Lester, Sunie, and Margaret Lyon in Livermore Falls.

Special Events

The United Way and the Fairbanks School Neighborhood Association collaborated on The Great Charity Auction in November, netting more than $12,000 to support programs that benefit the area.

If interested in volunteering, call 778-5048 or visit uwtva.org.