Published 12:00 am Friday, May 10, 2013

Those traveling along West Innes Street probably had a hard time figuring out what was going on at what was once part of Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s property Thursday. Dozens of people in red T-shirts were painting, landscaping and completing other renovations at the property.
The activity was from Keller Williams Realty personnel taking part in Red Day (Renew. Energize. Donate), the real estate firm’s annual nationwide volunteer campaign. The volunteers donated their time at the new Capstone Recovery Center, located in the building once used by the church at 814 W. Innes St.
The nonprofit agency operates a faith-based substance abuse recovery program for women and will house its non-residential program, the Lighthouse Learning Center, out of the building.
“Red Day is the day that Keller Williams ask their agents — company-wide our 82,000 agents — to give back to the community to give back to a nonprofit,” said broker Judy Simmons, a team leader in the Concord office.
Every year, a committee selects different venues.
“We landscape, paint, clean, do whatever we need to do to improve the quality of life for the people that need help,” Simmons said.
Amber Abbott is one those who will benefit from the program. Abbott, who is eight months sober, recently completed a month and a half program through Capstone Recover Center.
Abbott said this is the first thing she’s ever finished in her life. She has been to prison and battled substance abuse, but now she is looking toward a better future.
Abbott also volunteered Thursday to sort clothes that will be given to the women in the program who may not have clothes or anything to wear on a job interview.
The Red Day campaign takes place every year on the second Thursday in May and includes Keller Williams associates from across the United States and Canada. Volunteers take on all types of projects.
“God’s amazing. In January, this was a vision that had not happened,” said Capstone Executive Director Miriam Ramirez.
Ramirez is also a Concord/Kannapolis area real estate agent with Keller Williams.
Ramirez is grateful to Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s pastor, the Rev. John Putnam, and Diocese of Charlotte Bishop Peter Jugis, as well as Mike Vaeth, who is part of the church’s building committee.
“I’m thankful for them opening their hearts to this ministry because without their love, it wouldn’t have happened,” she said.
The center will offer a residential program, a non-residential program and some clients will be provided transitional housing. The center will have a computer lab and provide clothing to women in need. The center is collaborating with Daymark Recovery Services, Rowan Helping Ministries and Family Crisis Council of Rowan County. The Rowan County United Way provided the nonprofit with some funding through its Community Initiatives Grant. With the grant, the center was able to create the Jobs for Life courses.
Bonnie Kimbro has not battled substance abuse, but she is looking for work. She participated in the center’s Jobs for Life course. The course is the non-residential arm of the program that helps women get back on their feet and into the workforce. She’s raised five children and her husband, Al, is a long-distance truck driver. The couple at one time owned their own business, repairing and remodeling homes. Bonnie said she is looking for a job and turned to Capstone to help her obtain the necessary tools to put her back in the job market.
Ramirez said she is very excited that the nonprofit can provide a service to the community.
Jasen Lube, who owns A Top Notch Tree and Lawn Service in Concord volunteered again this year and provided his landscaping expertise and experience. Lube also donated a wooden cross he created through his other business, Top Notch Woodworking. He uses the wood he obtains through his tree service to create new pieces. The cross will go in the center’s serenity prayer garden.
Amber Lube, Jasen’s sister, also donated her time.
Amber said she wanted to give back to the community and helping Capstone Recovery Center was very intriguing to her.
Lube said it was a way to help those who may not have “the simple things in life,” things others take for granted.
Employees with Costner Law Firm and Supreme Lending, both of Charlotte also volunteered during Red Day. “Supreme Lending is trying to give back to the community that helps us be successful at what we do,” said Keith Johnson. Johnson is from Salisbury.
Donna Montgomery, with Keller Williams Cares, is part of the committee that nominated Capstone Recovery Center as part of its Red Day project, she said because she believes in the cause of Capstone Recovery Center.
Salisbury Mayor Paul Woodson read a proclamation declaring it Red Day.
“They have a great program. It’s wonderful help to people getting back into society,” Woodson said.
Brandon King, pastor of Crossview Baptist Church in Concord, is also a real estate agent with Keller Williams. King donated his time, and two of his church members volunteered to help as well. King said he and the other parishioners wanted to be of help in the community and wanted to help Ramirez and Capstone Recovery Center.
Last year agents volunteered at Landis Elementary where they spruced up the front of school with landscaping.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253. Twitter: Facebook: