About two dozen people chipped in Saturday to renovate and spruce up Family Promise of Effingham County’s day center in Springfield.
Volunteers from Gulfstream Aerospace and Effingham’s Rotary Clubs packed several days’ worth of projects into one morning. They built a new wheelchair ramp, painted indoor walls, hung shelves, cleared debris from the grounds and revamped the back yard with landscaping, a fence and picnic table.
“It was a lot of different projects that we had, from small to big ones,” said Ashley Moore, Family Promise of Effingham’s executive director. “We got a lot of those done, so we’re excited.”
The day center renovation was one of the local projects as part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance. The nationwide effort began in 2002 as a way to honor the victims, survivors and emergency responders from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“God has blessed us with a lot of things, and we just want to give back,” said Gulfstream employee Kevin Moore, who volunteered along with his wife Kerri. “Every opportunity we can find to give back to the community, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
Family Promise uses the day center in its mission to help homeless families. Local churches host a family for a week at a time, and the day center provides showers, closet space, a washer and dryer and an office area for the family to look online for employment or housing.
“I just love to help people,” Kerri Moore said. “Even if you never meet the families that live here, you know that they’re being helped out.”
Family Promise of Effingham began hosting its first family — a husband and wife and their four children — this summer. The organization recently welcomed its second family, a mother and daughter.
Neither of the families were at the day center while the volunteers were working. The helpers didn’t mind that they would be long gone when the families returned.
“You just smile on the inside thinking of what they’re going to think when they get back,” said Roger Bowman, who coordinated Gulfstream’s volunteer group.
Along with the volunteer workers, other people made donations through Thrivent Financial Services toward materials for the projects. Also, a Rotary member donated supplies and the organization Hands On Savannah contributed funds, according to Moore.
“We run on volunteers,” she said. “So without those people coming out and giving, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. We’re very fortunate and thankful for them.”