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  • United Way, Home Depot join in work at Dixon

  • The United Way and Home Depot returned to Dixon Middle School recently — along with Marine volunteers — to continue the beautification project started nearly two months before.
  • The United Way and Home Depot returned to Dixon Middle School recently — along with Marine volunteers — to continue the beautification project started nearly two months before.
    Despite rain and unseasonably cool weather, volunteers also began new projects that included making: a cover for the school’s softball field; a gravel path behind the school; and new picnic tables.
    The group also planned on painting the wheelchair ramp they built in June, providing the steady rain let up.
    Among the volunteers was 1st Sgt. Christopher Cary of Jacksonville. He led a group from 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines. Cary said the outing gave his troops a much-needed diversion from routine activities.
    “It’s great to have a break and help out the community,” Cary said.
    Cary said the outing was also fulfilling the wishes of one of his superiors. Much of the 2/8 is stationed in Afghanistan, including their commanding officer, Lt. Col. Kevin Clark. Cary said Clark made it clear what the remaining members of 2/8 should do until their return in October.
     “We were given guidance to continue doing things like this,” said Cary. “We’re always happy to help. We really hope the kids will enjoy the work we’ve put into this.”
    Welch said the follow-up project was made possible by a $1,800 grant from Home Depot that didn’t come through until after the June projects were completed, but Home Depot employees and materials were donated for the June projects. Bill Turner of Home Depot says the time and resources spent doing such projects are mutually beneficial.
    “They had needs for materials and we had the need to go into the community,” said Turner. “We’re also big on working with veterans, especially since they make up the majority of the community.”
    Volunteer Ray Luna, also a member of the 2nd Marines, said the school has undergone a noticeable makeover since he last visited as a test proctor.
    “It reminded me of my old school back home (in Houston) and it really needed some improvement,” Luna said. “The plants out front give an appeal to the school and make it seem friendlier.”
    For more information on United Way, contact Welch at 910-938-4357 or at lwelch@uwonslow.org.

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