“The Green Apple Day of Service is an initiative of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools. Shaw Contract Group, a commercial division of Shaw Industries headquartered in Cartersville, is a corporate partner of the Green Apple initiative of the Center for Green Schools,” said Wanda Dunaway, director of education and government markets for Shaw Contract Group. “The international Green Apple Day of Service gives communities, companies and local organizations the opportunity to transform schools and other learning organizations into healthy, safe and productive learning environments through local service projects.
“Shaw Contract Group encouraged our sales representatives both here in the United States and globally to participate in service projects in their communities. Here in Bartow County, we chose the Boys & Girls Club as our local project. We are very familiar with the needs that our local club provides to children. Our group is comprised of very creative types — product designers and marketing professionals — who enjoy transforming spaces. This project was the perfect fit for us.”
On Tuesday through Thursday, Shaw employees performed a mini-renovation of the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Cartersville Unit. Updating multiple rooms, the group tackled painting projects and installed new carpet and hard surface flooring.
“This opportunity to give back allows me to show the children of Bartow County that they matter to me,” said Amanda James, Shaw Hard Surface fabrication manager.
“Facilities in which they grow, develop and learn can oftentimes change their mindset, and give them the self-determination, motivation and self-esteem to think bigger, dream more and reach higher than ever before.
“I believe that we are blessed so that we can be a blessing to others. This task does my heart good, and I truly believe the children will appreciate it for years to come.”
Opened in May 1990 at the Goodyear Clubhouse in the Atco community, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County now features two locations — 642 Henderson Drive in Cartersville and 127 King St. in Adairsville — and serves about 230 children a day with its after-school program. During the school year and the summer, the units offer youth ages 6 to 18 educational and cultural opportunities, and activities like basketball, and arts and crafts.
“[The Shaw volunteers are] doing almost our entire program side with refurbishing each and every room, not only with carpet, but the baseboard, the tile, painting, graphics — you name it,” said Gordon L. Gilley, chief professional officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County. “... It’s just completely [refurbishing] five program rooms — program areas. The building is 16 years old, it doesn’t seem possible, but it’s 16 years old [and this is] helping us really almost literally start over ... [and] serve the children better. It’s just a beautiful environment.
“... [Shaw] has been fantastic. Shaw has been with us since day one — one of a handful of folks that have been with us in some capacity, whether it’s financial or volunteer support. Shaw is one of those unique groups that are always looking to us for ways to help us. Obviously, everybody thinks of Shaw and thinks of carpet. But they also go well beyond that as far as their volunteer efforts. In the past, they’ve done beautification projects outside, [such as] the tree plantings last year. ... They’re always looking for ways to help us.”
Officially held on Sept. 26, the Green Apple Day of Service sparked “more than 5,000 events, service projects and commitments [that] were made in countries around the world,” according to the global movement’s website.
In addition to helping the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County, Shaw Contract Group also sponsored other Green Apple Day of Service projects, some of which included donating reading materials to a school library in the Bahamas, assisting in the preservation of a nature reserve in McLean, Virginia, and establishing an outdoor classroom in Atlanta.
For more information about the Green Apple Day of Service, visit http://greenapple.org. Further details about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County can be obtained by calling 770-382-5500.