A group of employees from Altria Group spent Friday, November 11, 2011 on a series of beautification and improvement projects outside of the Linda and Tony Bakker Career Center at Carolina Youth Development Center in North Charleston. The group of 30 employees from Altria Group Distribution Company came from all over South Carolina and coastal Georgia to give their time.
With project management and logistics support by Hands On Charleston, the group worked together to extend the rear patio of the Bakker Center, spread fresh pine straw and plant annuals along the building’s perimeter, build new picnic tables and benches, erect a bird feeder and put down splash blocks beneath the building’s gutters.
Altria Group generously donated $15,000 to fund the projects undertaken. The most significant project included erecting a sign naming The Tree of New Beginnings, which members of the Altria group came together with CYDC staff late Friday afternoon to dedicate. The Tree of New Beginnings is a 100+-year old tree behind the Bakker Center, so named by the children on campus last year because many of them felt it describes the second chance they receive at CYDC. The sign reads:
“This grand oak tree is a symbolic reminder to us all that no matter the Transitions we face, we too are firmly grounded, confident that we will overcome the Endings, navigate the Neutral Zone, and succeed in the New Beginnings.”
Since 2001, Altria Group has donated over $186,000 and its employees have given over 1,400 volunteer hours to various landscaping and maintenance projects at CYDC.