UNION — Thirty-five Belk employees spent part of Wednesday morning making improvements at Foster Park Elementary School in honor of their company’s 125th birthday.
Belk was founded in 1888 and the company is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a “125 Days of Service” program. During the course of the program, which runs from March 10-July 12, Belk employees undertake service projects at local schools in their communities. The service projects are based on the needs of the individual schools but can include painting classrooms, landscaping and other improvements.
In Union County, a total of 35 employees of the Belk Department Store in Union and the Belk Fullfillment Center in Jonesville took part in the 125 Days of Service, making improvements at Jonesville Elementary/Middle School earlier this month and at Foster Park Elementary School Wednesday morning.
“This is a volunteer project in celebration of our 125th birthday,” Gwen Ganazaroli, store manager for the Belk Department Store, said. “We’re actually working with a non-profit organization called ‘Points Of Light’ in conjunction with local vendors helping to beautify two local schools.”
A Belk press release describes Points of Light as the world’s largest volunteer service organization which is helping mobilize and coordinate the company’s efforts during the 125 Days of Service.
Ganzaroli said the makeover at Foster Park Elementary included new furniture for both the inside and outside of the school and landscaping.
“Basically, what the school will get today is two picnic tables, bookshelves, and some books that we’re going to donate,” she said. “We’re going to landscape the front of the building and we’re also going to do a mural.”
Ganzaroli and the rest of the Belk associates involved in the project spent two hours at Foster Park Elementary assembling the picnic tables and book shelves; painting the mural; and planting flowers in the garden areas in the parking lot and around the school sign. She said the flowers, mulch, and dirt used by the associates for the landscaping was donated by Sanders Home & Garden and Paradise Home Center.
In addition to celebrating the company’s 125th birthday, Ganzaroli said the service projects are also a way of thanking the community for supporting Belk.
“We want to give back to our community,” Ganzaroli said. “Belk is very community-oriented. Our community supports us and we want to support our community.”
Foster Park Elementary School Principal Barbara Palmer thanked the Belk associates for their efforts.
“I’m just really glad to be part of a community where the busniesses have an interest in education,” Palmer said. “We are just so thankful for the flowers, bookshelves, picnic tables, and artwork. We look forward to enjoying them.”
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.