Lenovo is a long-standing supporter of local Boys & Girls Clubs in North Carolina. This year, the Lenovo Employees Care program expanded the relationship with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. When floods devastated South Carolina in October, we contacted the Boys & Girls Clubs’ national headquarters to see how we could help.
More than 50 company volunteers made the four-hour bus ride to the B&G Clubs of the Midlands and the Norman Arnold Center in Columbia, S.C. The Arnold Center, which serves 110 Columbia-area children, was identified as the Club most in need following the floods. The facility experienced significant damage that had a big impact on programs.
Over the course of the day, the volunteers fully renovated the center’s physical space, installing new floors and painting the building inside and out. In addition to repairing the flood damage, they also set up a new media lab with more than 20 Lenovo PCs where students can do homework. (All work and no play is not our style so we also set up tech and game centers with new Xbox systems, air hockey, pool and foosball tables.) Finally, Lenovo volunteers came armed with some new furniture.
To top off the “makeover,” we transformed the area around the Arnold Center. When the kids arrived after school, they were thrilled to discover a winter wonderland complete with (fake) snow, sleds and hot chocolate. A surprise visitor arrived shortly afterwards at the Boys & Girls Club—Santa delivered a Lenovo tablet to every child and staff member.
“When I saw all the kids run into the building for the first time, it was worth all the effort,” said Lenovo’s Scott “Santa” Ottman. “We can make a difference one person at a time.” “All you had to do was look at the kids’ faces to realize that we made a huge difference!” added employee Kreg Gresham.
“We cannot put into words the appreciation that we have for Lenovo and all the wonderful volunteers,” said Troy Thames, Area Director for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands. “Your efforts will make an impact on our community for years to come.”
This holiday surprise is just the latest Lenovo project benefiting the Boys & Girls Club. Earlier in the year, Lenovo employees donated 75,000 school supply items that will assist students at 11 clubs throughout the U.S. For a nice news story on Lenovo’s visit to South Carolina, go here. To see a photo gallery with a lot of smiling people, go here.