In an event covered by WXIA-TV 11 (NBC), the Rockdale News, the Rockdale Citizen and other community newspapers, CSX brought together City Year and 166 volunteers from 9 am–3 pm to build picnic tables, mural benches, shelving and planters; paint basketball court lines, murals and playground graphics and landscape A.R. “Gus” Barksdale Boys & Girls Club in Conyers, Ga.
The same group of volunteers restored the baseball field, as well as added play safe woodchips to the playground area. The service day came in the middle of a three-day, large scale Public Safety and Environment conference that provides training for CSX Public Safety and Environment workers and contractors to support best safety practices, ethical conduct and teamwork.
“This is truly a blessing with perfect timing,” said Terrence Artis, the club’s Executive Director. “They accomplished in six hours what it would take us a year or more to complete,” added Carol Wyre, the club’s Program Director. “They definitely made a difference.”
“When a corporate citizen like CSX puts its money and people where its values are, it means a lot to the community,” said Ruth Wilson, Superior and State Court Clerk for the Rockdale County Judicial Court. “It shows corporate citizens can do well by doing good.”
“Today, we are providing a safe place for these children to learn and be nurtured,” said Romano De Simone, Director of Hazardous Material Systems at CSX. “Who knows; they may become future railroaders.”
“These upgrades also increase their ability to get 60 minutes of exercise per day,” said Artis. “Before, we used the baseball field primarily as a soccer and kickball field. Now, the baseball field may be utilized as it is designed.” The outdoor classroom will enable staff to teach outdoors when weather permits.
A.R. “Gus” Barksdale Boys & Girls Club opened in 1977. The club grew from a small house serving less than 200 club members to its current 18,600 square foot location, which serves approximately 975 club members year round. It is part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, which operates 24 Clubs in 10 metro counties in addition to Camp Kiwanis and Youth Art Connection, an art gallery and workspace for young people in downtown Atlanta.
CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the nation’s leading transportation companies, connecting customers to ports, distribution centers and markets across the eastern United States. CSX created Beyond Our Rails as an extension of our organization—displaying our commitment to Safety, Community, the Environment and Wellness through grass-roots volunteerism and focused corporate giving — actively engaging employees and non-profit organizations in programs and initiatives designed to make the world a better place.
City Year is an education-focused, nonprofit organization, founded in 1988, that partners with public schools to help keep students in school and on track to graduate. In 23 communities across the United States and through two international affiliates, this innovative public-private partnership brings together teams of young AmeriCorps members who commit to a year of full-time service in schools. Corps members support students by focusing on attendance, behavior, and course performance through in-class tutoring, mentoring, and after school programs.
CSX is proud to be a National Leadership Sponsor of City Year in their efforts to improve parks, schools, recreational centers and other public places in the many types of rural, suburban and urban communities that CSX connects and serves. As the largest team site sponsor, supporting corps members in 13 cities across the Eastern United States, CSX also provides thousands of volunteer hours with the City Year Care Force team each year by painting murals, refurbishing playgrounds, renovating schools and planting trees across 22 states and the District of Columbia.