This article is a news story written for BrightView.
BrightView team members in South Carolina recently held a Community Day in which volunteers helped create a new landscape for the Julie Valentine Center in Greenville.
The non-profit center provides free confidential services to sexual assault and child abuse survivors and their families. The center’s mission is to “stop sexual violence and child abuse and the impact of these crimes through prevention, investigation, collaboration, treatment, and advocacy.”
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Scott Smith, Branch Manager at BrightView’s Greenville branch, is credited with getting the partnership with the center moving a few years ago.
The center is supported entirely by volunteers. The center honored BrightView as its Partner of the Year in 2015 and Smith wanted the branch to do something special in return.
“Scott said this year, ‘let’s pull out the stops and do something really nice for them,’” said Jeff Molizon, Account Manager for the branch. “We had one of our team members design a portion of the side of the building and once he designed it, we collaborated with (the center).”
The Julie Valentine Center approved the designs and BrightView provided team members and supplies to bring the design to life.
“The branch Account Managers and Production Managers went out there and we spent the full day ripping everything out and installing all new plant material,” Molizon said. “It was a fun project. We’ve done things out there before, but not to this scale.”
The new landscape features mostly perennial flowers and shrubs, but also includes trees, a bench and pathway for the center’s volunteers and their clients to use.
Not only was the landscape completely rehabbed, but the Greenville team also built a custom fence for the center.
“We had guys that built that fence piece-by-piece – it was not prefabbed or anything,” Molizon said. “They designed it and put it all together.”
The center has already received positive feedback from their clients about the new landscape. It has become an area of healing and comfort for people who may need it during the difficult times in their lives.
“It always feels good to support those in need” Molizon said. “I believe our branch is full of people who don’t want to take all the time – we’d rather being giving back to the community and Scott is the spearhead of that. His heart is making sure we are giving back.”