HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — It’s been more than 10 years since the middle school in Hopewell has been fully re-painted. Because of a budget crunch, a major paint job for Carter G. Woodson’s wasn’t in the district’s near future. This outlook recently changed when volunteers stepped up and decided to do the work for free.
“We’ve had so many walk-ins off the street, I went back this morning and asked them if they have any additional work that they might want us to do,” says Buddy Mitchell, an organizer and volunteer. “We do have a schedule and most of them are extremely prompt. It’s really amazing,” says Mitchell.
So far, more than 150 volunteers have re-painted classrooms and hallways at Carter G. Woodson Middle School. More than 60 rooms will eventually get painted. The free labor could save the district $25,000.
“I think what it’s going to show our kids that the people outside of our school family, they care about us,” says Shannon Royster, the principal at Carter G. Woodson Middle School.
“Our students a lot of time come to school and don’t have the supplies they need. I mean, they don’t have pencils, they don’t have notebooks,” says Carolyn Kaufman, a volunteer, who also works at the school. Kaufman says the money saved could help buy supplies for kids in need.
This Saturday, 63 people from Fort Lee signed up to help. Because so many volunteers have come out, organizers have asked for more classrooms to paint.