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CSX Transportation, Inc.

500 Water Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
904-359-3100

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CSX and City Year brought together volunteers for a day of service, making improvements to The Boys & Girls Club of Morgan Count


DECATUR, AL., April 26th, 2014—The Boys and Girls Club of Morgan County 3rd Street Unit is one of five Boys and Girls Clubs in Decatur, Alabama. Built in 1964, the building has seen much success in the youth it has served during its 50 years. But, the facility itself has aged, and it is up to each unit to raise monies to make repairs. In the past five years, the community has banded together to help. Local companies have sponsored projects including a new roof, new kitchen, updates to the heating and cooling system, and wiring. With the help of CSX, they are one step closer.

On April 26, more than 30 volunteers helped with landscaping and painting projects inside and outside of the building. Volunteers included a mix of CSX employees and representatives from Cranemasters, a vendor; Bunge, CSX customer; and Future Farmers of America, a national non-profit partner. Interior walls in the main room and student work room received a fresh coat of paint and two, bright blue logos were added to the walls of the gymnasium. Benches used for group activities were sanded and painted, along with the restrooms. Bulletin boards were crafted and painted, which will be used to showcase healthy recipes from a local chef.

Outside, garden barriers near the entries were updated with fresh mulch, and plant and garden boxes were built.

"Our clubs take children off the streets and into positive learning environments," said David Varner, North Central Alabama Boys and Girls Clubs chief executive officer. "Without community and corporate help, we couldn't keep doing it."

This particular club is located in a poverty stricken area and serves approximately 130 children ages 5 to 18. Two blocks from a school in a residential area, the location makes it the hub of activity for many. They offer services including after school homework help, volunteer mentoring and programs to educate children about healthy eating habits, arts and technology.

"CSX's core values line up well with ours," Varner said. "It starts with the customer. People make the difference, and safety is a way of life. We believe this for the children of our communities. The goal of the Boys and Girls Club is to work with and serve any child, but we want to reach those who need us the most. That's why it's so important to keep this facility thriving."

Recreation and sports also are a large part of the clubs activities. Terri Collins, Alabama District No. 8 representative, believes it played a role in her own children's lives.

"My children played soccer here," she said. "They enjoyed the long-term activities and sports, and are still athletic today. You can't help but think a good start made a difference with that."

Collins served as a volunteer years ago and has now taken on a role of financial support, specifically for practical math.

"I'm a big fan of math," she said. "I support a program that makes math fun. This club is important to the community, and gives children a safe and fun environment with people that care about their success in school and life."

Location: Decatur, AL

Published: May 7, 2014