Changing lights, landscaping, touching up paint, cleaning carpets, refurbishing chalkboards to be half dry-erase and re-striping the outdoor basketball court are just some of the upgrades the team of volunteers will complete at the community center.
Stephan Hudson, store manager of Lowe’s in Lebanon said the opportunities to give back are a great part of his job, something that has given back to him just as much as he has given to the community.
“I’ve been with the company 19 years, and every year that I do this it’s just great,” Hudson said. “It’s very emotional, it’s a great connection, it makes me feel proud of the company we work for that allows us to do these great things for the community. We feel very blessed to be a part of this and to help out in any way that we can.”
Leslyne Watkins, Civic League tutoring program coordinator, founded the program in 1994 and said simple things like installing more light bulbs can do a lot to change the feeling and tone of the environment, especially when you’re helping children with math, reading and science.
“We have been working with dim lighting in this building, and we have been trying to keep up with it but the expense is large. If kids can’t see, they can’t read, so that lighting was at the top of the list,” said Watkins.
Watkins said the center also holds different community events such as programs focused on seniors and a Christmas celebration complete with gift giveaways and a nativity scene for the children.
Helen Crudup, the Civic League’s administrative assistant, has worked since 2001 to help bring arts programs to children, which gives the children opportunities for activities and expression, from graphic arts to dance, that they may not get at home.
“We could not have coordinated this effort with independent workers to get the work done that Lowe’s is doing here today. It would have taken us years for us to get the amount of work and effort that they’re putting in today done. For Lowes to be here today and to make this their project is huge for us,” Crudup said.
The center also has a basketball camp led by Reggie Hatcher each summer to give children the chance to build skills and teamwork on and off the court.
Civic League vice president Harry Watkins said the center has played a pivotal role to keep children on the right path and help those children grow into adults who can pass on those values to the next generation.
“We’ve had a lot of activities over these 30 years, that we hope has had an impact on the community with keeping kids out of trouble, keeping them out of jail, keeping the crime rate down. We feel like we’ve played a big part in that,” Harry Watkins said.
Pope Striping Co. workers also volunteered time and materials to re-stripe the outdoors basketball court outside the center.
The Civic League accepts donations and volunteers to help strengthen its outreach to the youth and senior communities.