By Lauren Hollon Sturdy
BEAUMONT—Buckner Children’s Village in Beaumont got a major facelift May 12 thanks to Keller Williams Realty Company’s “RED Day” service project.
“RED Day” stands for Renew, Energize and Donate, and is a nationwide Keller Williams day of service.
One hundred twenty-five volunteers pitched in for a total of 875 hours. Some volunteers were there from start to finish, putting in 12 hours of labor.
[caption id="attachment_3722" align="alignleft" width="250"] Before and After: Keller Williams Realty and dedicated volunteers created a warm, inviting environment for the children in the administration building of the Buckner Children's Village.[/caption]
“The before and after is kind of like an HGTV series,” said Laura May, administrator for Buckner Children and Family Services in Beaumont.
The group gave the administration building new life by repainting the inside, installing new fixtures—including an elegant chandelier—and creating comfortable, homey areas with new furniture donated by Hadley's Furniture, as well as toys and games for children to enjoy.
“We like having an environment that feels warm and safe—a place that feels kind of like a home. That’s what they went with,” May said. “The kids love it. There’s a little sitting area with a leather couch and loveseat, and baskets with coloring books and puzzles for when the kids are waiting to see a counselor or waiting for meetings.”“They equipped the library area with colorful bins with toys for all different ages. It feels like a big living room and the kids have been treating it that way, coming up here to play.”
Outside, they refinished peeling and sun-bleached benches and picnic tables, deconstructed and hauled away an out-of-code playground and completed several landscaping projects to brighten up the grounds.
“This group did not halfway do anything,” said Rhonda O’Neill, development officer for Buckner Foundation in Beaumont. “They were incredible.”
This was Keller Williams’ second year to serve Buckner on RED Day. Last year, they renovated the on-campus Emergency Shelter.
“We really felt a need to go back and finish some projects that we could tell were needed last year, but that we didn’t have funding for last year,” said Leah Cleveland, a Keller Williams real estate agent and the RED Day event chair. “Everyone on our staff was very excited that we were able to go back and finish those projects this year.”
May said the estimated in-kind donation was about $30,000, including furniture, fixtures, paint, plants, labor and other equipment.
“To accomplish what they did in the time frame they did it in was amazing,” May said. “Extreme Home Makeovers has nothing on them.”
Keller Williams collected $3,410 to pay for the beautification projects. The $1,896 that was left over at the end of the day will go toward the purchase of new bedroom furniture for the Emergency Shelter.
“We get a lot of great support from Southeast Texas, and the people we partner with in the community tend to become part of who we are,” May said. “A lot of individuals from Keller Williams have done things for us throughout the year because they believe in our mission and what we do, and I feel like that will continue for a long time.”
To learn more about the ways your company or organization can support Buckner in the U.S. or around the world, please call 214-758-8000 today or contact someone at Buckner in your community.
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