The Union Recorder

April 25, 2013

Local Belk store aids with school improvement projects

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Associates of the Milledgeville Belk store volunteered their time and efforts to help complete improvement projects at Eagle Ridge Elementary School Thursday as part of the Belk company’s 125th anniversary celebration.

“As part of the 125th anniversary, Belk is giving back to local schools as its 125 days of service. We chose Eagle Ridge because they are our school partner,” said Benetra Hargrove, local Belk sales team manager and one of seven Belk employees volunteering Thursday. “Belk acknowledges the importance of giving back, and they allow us time to come out with their resources. It really means a lot because this is my child’s school.”

Working in partnership with Points of Light, the world’s largest organization devoted to volunteer service, local Belk employees collaborated with the school’s Project H.O.P.E. (Help Other People Everywhere) students to construct a picnic bench and assemble two bookshelves.

“We’re so grateful [Belk] came out and helped,” said fifth-grader Emily Arp of Project HOPE. “We couldn’t do this without them.”

“It’s really awesome that Belk came to help us. We’re very glad,” added Abby Downie, a fellow Project HOPE student. “It was a great experience.”

The Milledgeville Belk store representatives will continue to aid Eagle Ridge by volunteering at the upcoming field day and career day.

“On Tuesday we made magic reading carpets for individual students to sit on during reading time,” Hargrove said. “We’re having a book drive at the store and we welcome people to stop by and drop off books to help fill up these bookcases we built.”

Belk, along with its associates, customers and vendors, contributed more than $18 million to local communities during the past fiscal year. Of the total amount, Belk corporate dollars funded $6.2 million to more than 250 nonprofit organizations, with a focus on education, breast cancer research and awareness, and community strengthening, according to a company press release. 

“We’re thrilled to have volunteer activities scheduled in every Belk market so that all of our associates will have the opportunity to participate,” said Jessica Graham, Belk vice president of communications and community relations. “Our associates are so passionate about the communities they live and work in, so we knew that a key component of our anniversary celebration would include giving back.”

Milledgeville Belk is also in the midst of preparing for its semi-annual Belk Spring Charity Sale to benefit 20 local organizations and schools during the private, four-hour event. Slated from 6 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Charity Sale tickets are available from all participating organizations and the store for $5 each. Merchandise can also be pre-selected prior to the sale if shoppers are unable to attend the Charity Sale event.

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