BURTON — About 60 volunteers from the Burton, Flint and Saginaw Lowe’s home improvement stores worked four days to make renovations possible to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Flint.
“I think it was a blessing and an honor to give back to the young people in this area,” said Terry Johnson, a millwork specialist at the Burton Lowe’s store. The volunteers worked from about 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 27-Sept. 29. On Sept. 30, they worked from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Outside of the facility, they cleaned the flower beds, added mulch around everything and put in perennials. In the coat room, they put in new floor and ceiling and painted.
“They actually gutted it and redid it for us,” said Emily Leonard, unit director for the Boys and Girls Club of Flint.
In the teen room, for ages 13-17, volunteers painted walls and the stairway, turned the storage area to a lounge for the kids and added designs on the walls.
The Boys and Girls Club is an afterschool and summer program for youth ages seven to 17. Part of the club’s mission is helping the youth that need help the most, and the majority of the youth the program serves live in low-income households. Leonard said the club focuses on the academic success of its club members.
“That’s making sure they have time and support for homework assignments, talking to them about what they want to do after high school, taking them to college campuses for tours and talking to them about career exploration” she said. “We also focus on good character and citizenship, as well as engaging them in healthy lifestyle activities.”
The Flint center has two garden spaces to focus on the nutritional aspect, and a gymnasium and fitness center for sports and recreation programs. Marissa Carr, 14, who attends Kearsley High School, got involved with the Boys and Girls Club when she was nine.
“I come and do my homework,” she said. “I like the activities they do. I like the programs like Smart Girls where staff members talk to you about your future goals. The Boys and Girls Club has a lot of programs. I like the new change. It gives us a fresh start. I like the environment.”