AIKEN, S.C. – (May 3, 2018) – More than 100 employees from Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) recently volunteered to work at multiple United Way agencies located throughout the greater Augusta area as part of this year’s Project SERVE.
Employees committed to work during their day off to take on projects that will improve the living conditions of disadvantaged children, low-income senior citizens, the disabled, single-parent homeowners or specific United Way partner agencies.
Team projects typically include painting, repairing flooring, putting up drywall, building fences and wheelchair ramps, replacing rotting boards, fixing faulty plumbing and performing yard work.
“The attitudes of those who serve are always grateful. Volunteers show up with smiles on their faces ready to make a difference,” said Kevin Cross, SRS Project SERVE Lead and SRNS manager. “Sometimes repeat-volunteers are there because they develop a relationship with the organization they are supporting. Other times, groups of volunteers like to work with each other year after year. Often, new volunteers see a part of our community they were previously unaware of, and their sense of charity takes over from there.”
One of the locations for this year’s Project SERVE was the Graniteville Farmers Market, where volunteers constructed picnic tables, cleared trails and worked on restoring a 15,000 square-foot barn, using boards from pallets to cover interior walls.
The 100-year-old barn is being renovated to be an environmentally-friendly, indoor farmers market. Future plans include raised beds and a greenhouse, woodshop and amphitheater.
“Whether it’s a shelter, a community center, a center which helps disabled persons develop work skills, a school, or supporting a vision to revitalize an entire town, it is pleasing to see the difference that our company makes in the community,” said Cross.
Other Project SERVE teams from the Savannah River Site worked at the Salvation Army Store, Augusta Family Counseling Center, Child Enrichment Inc., Family Counseling Center of Augusta and the Heritage Academy.
“This is the seventh year SRNS employees have assisted us,” said Linda Tucciarone, Heritage Academy Executive Director. “What I love so much about this group is their level of technical expertise. Each year, we give them challenging projects that would normally cost a lot of money. They have a sophisticated knowledge and set of skills, and yet a willingness to take on any task, we couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Projects SERVE, CARE (Barnwell County) and VISION, short for Volunteers in Service in Our Neighborhoods (Aiken County), assist United Way agencies throughout the Central Savannah River Area.
Project CARE was held the same day as Project SERVE and provided assistance for Barnwell County. Thirty volunteers from SRNS worked on improving the YMCA facility and building a wheelchair ramp for a local resident.
SRNS employee Melanie Lepard volunteers as a board member of Barnwell County United Way, and she coordinated activities during this year’s Project CARE. “I have lived in Barnwell County for 30 years, and I first got involved with United Way to simply help people in the community because that’s what living in Barnwell is all about: helping each other,” Lepard said.
About Savannah River Nuclear Solutions
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions is a Fluor-led company whose members are Fluor Federal Services, Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell, responsible for the management and operations of the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, including the Savannah River National Laboratory, located near Aiken, South Carolina.