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Target uses ‘Day of Caring’ to help new Jackson Teen Center

Posted: June 24, 2014 12:47 p.m.
Updated: June 25, 2014 5:00 a.m.
Haley Atkinson/C-I

Target and United Way of Kershaw County volunteers, along with Boys & Girls Club staff, recently came together for a Day of Caring to beautify and make repairs to the new the Jackson Teen Center in the old Continuous Learning Center across from Camden High School. Participants included (left to right) Andy Robinson, Robin Saviola, Brian Mays, Greg Brownell, Ryan Causey, Donny Supplee, Paul Rizzo, Errica Bishop and Bob Gulledge.

Employees from the Target Distribution Center in Lugoff participated in a “Day of Caring” to help make improvements at the new Jackson Teen Center (JTC) on June 12 in Camden. The JTC, part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands (BGCM), is housed inside the former home of the Kershaw County School District’s (KCSD) old Continuous Learning Center across from Camden High School. The center is staffed by BCGM employees, as are other programs Boys & Girls Clubs programs in a number of KCSD schools.

Along with Target employees and volunteers, United Way of Kershaw County (UWKC) volunteers and BGCM staff joined together to make additions, repairs and improvements to a room that will serve as a game room at the center.

Target Group Leader Errica Bishop said she enjoyed the opportunity to volunteer at the center.

“I’m big on community service,” Bishop said, explaining that Target performs a day of caring each year. “Through the United Way, we look for agencies in need. We picked the Boys and Girls Club and we’re donating our time to better it.”

Bishop said the work she and her team members performed was like a “makeover for the building and the game room specifically.”

Paul Rizzo, also a Target leader, said he enjoys giving back to the community.

“We built a bar that will be their snack bar in here,” Rizzo said as he finished caulking the newly constructed snack bar space.

Greg Brownell, a Target team leader, said he’s been a part of the day of caring for many years.

“Target is a huge United Way sponsor,” Brownell said.

He said he “happily accepted the challenge and enjoyed working with JTC Executive Director Brian Mayes, BGCM Area Director Robin Saviola, and Donny Supplee and Pam Spivey of the UWKC.

“We have made a ton of progress here. This is an extremely usable space. There are multiple uses for this space. In two days, we’ve accomplished a lot,” Brownell said, adding that he was grateful for each Target volunteer’s effort. “I’m so happy to have had their help. We had 20 total Target volunteers.”

UWKC volunteer Bob Gulledge said he was doing this for fun because he loves to paint.

Supplee, the UWKC’s president said Target’s Day of Caring is one way the United Way and the company positively impact the community.

“With the new Jackson Teen Center project just getting off the ground and needing help, we all saw this as a great opportunity to upgrade the facilities for the children of our community,” Supplee said. “They say a picture is worth a thousand words; well, that is so true. In a day and a half, the activity room was transformed to include Boys & Girls Club blue. This Day of Caring kicked off our United Way fund drive for 2015. The work has just begun on our campaign and in changing the lives of the youth served at this new program!”

Mayes described the center as “a safe place for our youth and teens to enjoy.” He said the center is open to all teens of Kershaw County for only $5 per year. Mayes also said he was very excited to walk through the building and see the BGCM royal blue doors.

The BGCM’s motto is “Great Futures Start Here,” and Mayes believes the Jackson Teen Center will definitively continue that tradition.

“We offer the kids a computer study room, a dance and theater space, a snack and game room and an area for sports and recreation,” Mayes said.

He said music is a large part of the programming at the center, and that students would learn about various aspects of performance, participate in performances and then discuss various forces in play behind music and theater productions.

Mayes said students were currently practicing performing Temptations songs and that their renditions would be recorded.

“We show them how to sing into a microphone and let them hear how that sounds,” Mayes said, adding the background music students sing along with is the “actual track used by the Temptations. We blend their vocals with the Temptations’ vocals.”

The center will also incorporate musical recording equipment so students can learn about the process of producing and editing music.

Supplee said he is very optimistic about the opportunities offered at the Jackson Teen Center and with the relationship between the UWKC and the BGCM.

“We, indeed, partner together in many ways throughout the county but this latest initiative at Jackson is one our entire community should take pride in,” Supplee said. “Already, they are reaching out to many youth and teens in our community to keep them active and engaged over the summer. Our United Way summer food program helps by providing breakfast and lunch through a federal grant from USDA.”

Supplee said that even though the BGCM is technically not a UWKC partner agency since it has not applied for funding, the United Way still considers it “a vital partner in our goal improve the (county’s) graduation rate.”

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