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Santee Cooper employees pitch in on Day of Caring
Published Tuesday, September 20, 2011 12:38 PM
Santee Cooper employee Jill Eagerton helps paint the offices of Helping Hands of Goose Creek.
Santee Cooper employee Adrianne Driggers pitches in.
A number of local businesses lent a helping hand to the community’s non-profits and schools on Friday, Sept. 9.

It was all part of Trident United Way’s Day of Caring project, an annual event the week of or before 9/11.

About 12 volunteers from Santee Cooper gave the Helping Hands of Goose Creek office a facelift by transforming the white walls into a light sage green, as the food bank’s Executive Director Michelle Arredondo calls it.

“It’s a nice change of scenery to get away from the office,” Santee Cooper employee Jill Eagerton said as she stood on top of the bathroom’s sink to reach the top of the wall with a paint roller on Friday morning. “My husband is a homebuilder, I have lots of experience. I used to do this on weekends.”

Santee Cooper’s Brian Holmes said volunteers used about 10 to 12 gallons of paint. Santee Cooper CEO Lonnie Carter also stopped by.

Another 11 volunteers from the Charleston Passport Center spent the day at Howe Hall Arts Infused Elementary School, where they removed weeds from around the building and helped paint a United States map on a paved section of playground.

Most fifth grade students were able to add paint to the asphalt to color in a state or two on the map.

“The kids have loved it,” Assistant Principal Katie Taie said.

“We had to lay a stencil out,” Charleston Passport Center coordinator Tamer Barnette said. “Kids took chalk to connect dots from the stencil to make the map.”

Barnette’s daughter attended the school from first to fifth grade, she said with a smile.

“We look forward to this day every year,” she said, adding that last year they painted doors.

“It’s been fun,” fifth-grader Manny Johnson said. “You can learn about Washington (the state he was painting yellow). It suddenly got interesting.”

Howe Hall AIMS Principal Christopher Swetckie said he will create a “walk of fame” for every student who can pass his 50-state challenge. That means they have to step on every state on the map and say the state’s name and its capitol.

Volunteers at Cane Bay High School installed a vegetable garden and vegetables in a field behind the school and an herb garden near the greenhouse. Jennifer Schlette, co-founder of the Hunger Ends Now (HEN) Project, led the day’s activities.

Horticulture teacher Aimee Wiles took her students out to the garden, which is growing cabbage, collards and broccoli.

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