he inaugural Hands on Jackson Day of Caring is slated for Nov. 1, and volunteers and sponsors are still needed. Currently, the list of projects is outstripping the number of volunteers.

Hands on Jackson is a loose coalition of numerous groups that help out in the community, including Mountain Projects, the Department of Social Services, Department on Aging, Habitat for Humanity, the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and Neighbors in Need.

These groups routinely answer calls for help in the community, and in conversations between them they recognized the need for a coordinated day of help. That was the impetus for Hands on Jackson.

“We all get calls from people that need things that there’s not a program for, stuff as simple as getting gutters cleaned, yards cleaned, underbrush cleared, or construction in home they can’t do,” said Eddie Wells, director of the Jackson County Department on Aging.

Mountain Projects Director Patsy Davis has worked on similar efforts in other counties and has seen the kind of successes that are possible.

This is the first such attempt in Jackson County. What’s needed to make it a success here are sponsorships, volunteers and projects.

Sponsorships are available on three levels. There are 12 House Sponsor spots available at $1,000, and some of the groups you’d expect have already stepped forward – Sylva Rotary, Lowe’s of Sylva, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort, Duke Energy and Harris Regional Hospital.

Eight Hammer Sponsor spots are available at $500 each, as are 10 $250 Friend Sponsors.

We’re happy to reprint forms today for those willing to help.

What’s being attempted here won’t be an onerous burden on anyone. Projects must cost less than $1,000 and be able to be completed in a single day.

The project isn’t limited to the Sylva area. It’s a countywide affair.

Those wanting to volunteer can contact any of the agencies participating in Hands on Jackson. For general information and information about sponsorships, contact Davis at Mountain Projects at 586-2345 or 800-627-1548.

The signup deadline has been extended to Oct. 5.

Here’s a chance to help your neighbors in need, many of them elderly residents who could use a hand with tasks we take for granted such as weed-eating or leaf blowing, cleaning gutters or clearing debris. It’s a worthy effort. We hope the residents of Jackson put their backs behind it.