A dozen volunteers from a church in South Carolina spent Saturday cleaning and painting a hallway at Letcher Elementary School as a way to show that people in other states care about people in eastern Kentucky.
“We just wanted to help,” said Danny Ballard, a volunteer from Southside Baptist Church in Spartanburg, S.C. “It shows the people in this area that they are thought about. This shows people that we do care and God does love them.”
Volunteers from out of state, along with help from school employees, wiped down the intermediate hallway which includes a music room, computer room and fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms.
All the doors on that end of the school were painted blue and the walls were painted a creamy beige. The school district provided paint, rollers and brushes used to complete the painting project.
“Having a fresh look will lift their spirits,” said Jamie Reynolds, campus director of Calvary Campus in Blackey.
Wendy Mullins, principal of Letcher Elementary School, said the fresh coat of paint will enhance the school atmosphere. She was pleased to have help from others.
“I think it says we care enough about you to make sure your school is happy and bright,” said Mullins.
Jamie Reynolds and his wife, Rachel, have been working as liaisons to connect the South Carolina group with the Letcher school.
“They wanted to find service projects that would benefit the school and the community,” said Mullins.
Jamie Reynolds said the group may come back in the spring to create an outdoor classroom, build a gazebo for the school playground and make picnic tables.
“I’m just thrilled that someone wants to come help us,” said Martha Watts, coordinator of the Family Resource and Youth Services Center (FRYSC) at the school.
Watts said Southside Baptist Church also provided backpacks, a truckload of food and $450 at the beginning of the school year to help start a backpack program to provide food for 20 students to take home each weekend to ensure they will have something to eat when school is not in session.
“Really, we just wanted to help,” said Ballard. “We saw a need and feel like we are doing what God wants us to do.”