ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- The United Way of the Southern Tier held its annual day of action to help local non-profits with beautification and upkeep projects.

Volunteers were hard at work doing their best to help their community. One of the benefactors of the United Way's partnership with local businesses was the Chemung County Meals on Wheels.

Local non-profits are essential in providing services to the community. From providing meals to improving access to education, many non-profits don't have, time, resources or manpower to complete necessary improvement projects. That's where the United Way's Day of Action comes in.

"What we do is mobilize the carrying power of volunteers to help nonprofit organizations in our community. This year, we have 32 projects across the two counties and nearly 400 volunteers," said Lois Wilson, director of communications for the United Way of the Southern Tier.

One of several beneficiaries is the Chemung County Meals on Wheels, who were the recipients of fresh paint work in the loading bay area. The project helps not only the overall image of the building, but also its durability.

"I know that the east side of Elmira is a wonderful place in our community, and I would like our building to reflect that. And I think that this painting job will make our neighborhood prettier. It's a little bit blighted like it looks at the moment, so this help is just enormous for us because we spend most of our time feeding people," remarked Katie Boland, executive director of Meals on Wheels.

Volunteers say they do what they do because local communities benefit when the effort is put in to make them better. To that end -- the United Way of the Southern Tier says it is key to empower people who want to help out in any way they can.

"It's bringing together 400 people who really care about where they live. And they're showing that by taking action today, by going out and doing these projects. And that really does rub off. When you drive down the street and see that something's just been painted or there's new flowers in front of a place that wasn't there before, you notice," added Wilson.

In a statement United Way leadership stated that the amount of work provided on today's day of action equates to more than 2,200 hours of total community service.