Child advocacy center gets face-lift
By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — The Terrie Hess House Child Advocacy Center has recently undergone a face-lift of sorts courtesy of more than two dozen volunteers.
The center, a program of Prevent Child Abuse Rowan, is a haven for victims of abuse to receive counseling and for families to receive referral services and court advocacy.
Staff looked at updating the building in December and even had volunteers on board to do the work, but something changed all that. A letter was sent to the local Lowe’s Home Improvement store, an inquiry just to see if they could help out with some paint, and it yielded much more.
Store Manager Tim Howard knew the store could possibly do more so he called his corporate office to check. The next day he contacted volunteer coordinator Lori Arntz to inform her they would supply the paint and the painters.
This week, the building was power-washed, primed and painted and shutters were added.
Arntz said they wanted the building to look like a home to show the care people receive on the inside.
“Each year, each store can do a project called Lowe’s Heroes. It’s a community-based project where each associate can come out and participate in a real worthy cause,” Howard said.
It’s nice to have a chance to give back, he said.
“We wanted something we could do that would have positive impact,” Howard said.
There were a total of 10 people from Lowe’s who donated their time on days off to work at the center.
Once the project is complete, volunteers will have spent about 120 hours working on the building, he said.
Valspar, the main paint supplier for Lowe’s, also sent volunteers to paint.
“It’s great. It shows a lot of community involvement. It’s something we enjoy doing,” said Andy Dickson, a Valspar employee.
Rip Kersey, who is on the child advocacy center board, said one of the aspects of the center is that it be child-friendly and inviting. The changes made this week further that goal of making the center a place where children and their families can feel at home.
“It’s extraordinary what they’ve done on this project,” he said.
Michael King, a local Lowe’s employee, spent his days off working at the house. Although he’s worked on other volunteer projects in the community, this was King’s first time volunteering with Lowe’s Heroes. His son also volunteered as well.
“It’s a chance to give back. It’s about doing something good for somebody else,” King said.
Howard said he and the Lowe’s company were grateful to the advocacy center for allowing them to “help them out.”
Not only did Lowe’s volunteer to make updates to the building, so did EarthScapes, a local landscaping company, that with Rick Barrier, donated plants and flowers. Barrier is the brother of a Terrie Hess House volunteer. He began cutting away overgrown bushes in April.
“He comes twice a month to maintain the garden. He recently donated a beautiful clay flowerpot with plants in there. It really dressed up our front door area,” Arntz said.
Later, Novant Health, which owns the building, will add railing to the entrance of the building.
Arntz said everyone at the child advocacy center is appreciative of the efforts of all those who took the time to help beautify the building and grounds.
“We are just so incredibly grateful,” Arntz said.
In the second phase of changes taking place in August, a local artist, along with a team of art students will create a mural on the outside of the building. The mural will be a collage of children taking part in fun activities.
For more information about Lowe’s Heroes, go to www.lowes.com/socialresponsibility.
For more about this project, see the accompanying video at www.salisburypost.com.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.