In the sweltering heat, Amanda Honeycutt took a short break from painting to sip water in the shade at the Coharie Tribal Center.
While wiping sweat from her brow, she was happy to add a coat of fresh white paint on the building, along with Stacy Jordan Honeycutt.
“It makes you feel really good to volunteer,” Amanda said. “It’s a great feeling.”
The volunteers recently participated in Lowe’s Home Improvement’s Heroes program, which encourages employees to work together on projects for nonprofit organizations or schools.
“It’s going to be beautiful when it’s finished and it’s right before the center has its Pow Wow,” Stacy said about the annual event featuring Native American dancing, drumming, artwork and vendors.
Stacy, who also rested from 90-degree weather, appreciates the Coharie’s work in the community.
“It’s a wonderful center and they do a lot of good,” Stacy said. “It’s a nice thing that Lowe’s does.”
Russell Clark, manager for the local Lowe’s, said the volunteering is a way to reach out to the community. Last year, employees assisted the Town of Garland’s downtown by planting trees, flowers and shrubs. This year, the focus was on the Coharie Tribal Center.
“It’s an older building and it had some walls that were rotting out from the bottom,” Clark said about some of the required work.
To make improvements, Lowe’s received assistance from a few vendors. LP SmartSide Trim & Siding provided materials and Valspar contributed paint.
“With our Lowe’s associates and the help of our vendors, we were able to come out here and do some good in the community,” Clark said. “They were very instrumental. There is no way we would have been able to do as much as we’ve done without their help.”
The work began early Tuesday morning and continued through Thursday. To beat high temperatures, some of the associates began after six o’clock in the morning.
“We got plenty of water, Gatorade, food and we’re making sure they’re taking breaks,” Clark said about the 10 associates helping out. Members of the Coharie Tribe also helped.
Along with the outside painting, some of the work at the center included tree cutting, mulching, resealing windows, digging up brick walkways and putting out a picnic table. Lowe’s also aligned the building with gravel to help with water drainage. The estimate retail cost of supplies was between $5,000 and $6,000.
“I think it’s a great way for us to show the community that it’s not all about business,” Clark said. “It’s also about our people, the community we live in and helping people love where they live.”
James Brewington showed appreciation for the project as a resident and member of the Coharie Tribe.
“We’re real grateful for it,” Brewington said. “We have events coming up and we’re kind of stressed on funds.”
Also, Brewington said it was a good way for Lowe’s to reach out to the community. The Heroes program began 10 years ago and helped program internationally. Some of the previous projects included an outdoor classroom in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada; the revitalizing of a community center and family homes in Boston.
“A lot of our tribal members patron Lowe’s in town and I think it’s a good thing all the way around. Not just for the Coharie Tribe but for the other organizations that Lowe’s serve.”
He was also impressed with the work done in a short amount of time.
“As far as the work they’ve done, it’s outstanding,” Brewington said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.