Giving back to the community is often a team effort, and over the weekend several Turlock organizations and businesses came together to spruce up the Turlock Salvation Army’s senior room.
The Kiwanis Club of Greater Turlock and Turlock High School’s Key Club on Saturday morning spearheaded an effort to remodel the Salvation Army space that regularly hosts the community’s elderly for educational classes, meals, dances, seminars and countless other activities. A fresh coat of paint and new cabinets were all that was needed to transform the room from dull and dreary to light and airy, and the group spent the entire morning scrubbing walls, stripping base molding and working as one to breathe life into the senior gathering place.
“We had to find a date where the room wasn’t being used by seniors because this room is used every weekend. There happened to be a free Saturday, so we said we’d be happy to come out and make it beautiful for them,” Kiwanis member Melinda Turner said. “It’s really brightened up and it looks fresh. I think the community and the senior citizens who use the room are going to be pleasantly surprised about how nice it looks.”
The THS Key Club is a student-led community service group and regularly works closely with the Kiwanis to give back through a variety of different projects. About 16 THS Key Club members showed up on Saturday to help out with the project, which not only provided them with valuable community service hours needed for school, but taught them something along the way.
“We live in the community, so we want to keep it looking beautiful. It’s also a resource for the students to learn a skill and have fun while doing it,” Turner said. “It was a great teaching tool — the students learned how to tape and paint, and we were basically here to just supervise and give advice. It’s a wonderful thing.”
It wasn’t only the two service groups that combined their efforts to make the senior room shine. Best Cabinets of Turlock provided new doors and drawers for the space’s storage cabinets, Paul’s Paint Company donated the paint, a donation from Home Depot allowed the groups to purchase painting supplies and Togo’s Sandwiches even donated lunch as the volunteers worked.
Salvation Army Corps Major Debi Shrum shared her excitement during a Facebook live video that showed off the groups’ hard work.
“It came out wonderful,” she said. “We are so appreciative of everything you guys have done for us and we absolutely love the work.”
THS Key Club member Brock Paslay said the experience was rewarding.
“This is what Key Club is all about. A lot of good comes out of the things we do, even if it’s something simple like this where we’re just touching up the walls,” he said. “The seniors come in here a lot and they enjoy this place. It just looks nicer now.”
Paslay added that while many students join Key Club due to the school’s community service requirement, many come back year after year.
“You learn to love it and love to help,” Paslay said. “It makes you feel good.”