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SRNS’ LEAP group volunteers take on renovation project

Posted: October 10, 2017 - 11:50pm
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions employee Jessica Pedraza paints a room at Helping Hands during a recent LEAP (Leaders Emerging Among Professionals) Steering Committee outreach event in Aiken.
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions employee Jessica Pedraza paints a room at Helping Hands during a recent LEAP (Leaders Emerging Among Professionals) Steering Committee outreach event in Aiken.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions' Leaders Emerging Among Professionals Steering Committee recently spent a Saturday volunteering at Helping Hands, a United Way of Aiken County partner agency that provides a safe and structured home for children and young adults in need.

The LEAP team worked on a renovation project, designing and furnishing a bedroom for girls through Helping Hands' Adopt-a-Room Program.

The majority of the project involved taping, priming and painting the walls of the bedroom and adjacent bathroom. The space was previously a boys' room outfitted with dark blue paint and Transformers wallpaper.

"We initially heard about this opportunity during Project VISION (Volunteers in Service in Our Neighborhoods) in April. A group of us were touring the facility and decided to pursue this as a teambuilding and outreach project," said LEAP Outreach Co-Chair Andrew Boggess, who works in analytical development at Savannah River National Laboratory.

"The girls who live in this room helped us after we finished painting. It was truly rewarding to work side-by-side with them and see the looks on their faces when the room was completed."

In addition to giving the space a fresh coat of paint, the LEAP group completed the makeover by providing bedding, lamps, rugs, bathroom decor and curtains to coordinate with the new lilac color scheme.

"While initially shy, the girls quickly opened up when given the opportunity to project their personal styles in deciding where and how to place some of the room decor," said LEAP Outreach co-chair Brittany Hodge of Savannah River Tritium Enterprise Process and Shift Engineering. "We hope this new space will help them feel at home while they stay here."

Helping Hands is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the quality of life and well-being of children, young adults and families in need to improve health, independent living skills and educational outcomes. The facility serves individuals from birth to 21 years of age.

"While volunteering at Helping Hands, we learned they greatly depend on volunteer workers, as many of their grants and funding sources have stipulating requirements for volunteered labor work.

"Every hour donated by a volunteer worker releases funding into their budget to better serve the community," Hodge said.

LEAP is a peer-led organization whose members are full-time employees at SRNS and have earned, at a minimum, an associate's degree within the past seven years. In addition to providing networking and professional development opportunities, LEAP organizes community outreach events for its members through organizations such as Aiken Friends of the Animal Shelter, Ronald McDonald House, Aiken Equine Rescue and Golden Harvest Food Bank.

 

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