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Bard gives nonprofit office a makeover

Staff Photo: Crystal Tatum. Renee Jones with Prevent Child Abuse Newton has a nicer place to work now that the office has been remodeled by employees with Bard Medical Division.

Staff Photo: Crystal Tatum. Renee Jones with Prevent Child Abuse Newton has a nicer place to work now that the office has been remodeled by employees with Bard Medical Division.

COVINGTON -- Some generous folks at Bard Medical Division recently made Christmas very merry for volunteers and staff members at Prevent Child Abuse Newton.

Volunteers with Bard gave the nonprofit organization's office, located at The Cousins Center on Geiger Street, a complete makeover free of charge.

According to Sheena Berry, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse, the old office furniture was mismatched and in disrepair.

"It was just what people had given to us. Not to complain -- it served its purpose. Our work is mainly outside the office anyway. But it really needed some work," she said.

Still, Berry didn't dream that she'd be getting an entirely remodeled office when she called someone at Bard to ask for a donation of a desk.

"Oh, my goodness, it just blossomed from there," she said.

Bard had formed a new committee with the intent of finding projects worthy of volunteering employees' time.

"We're trying to put more employees out on the ground and in the community," said Eddie Huckaby, facility supervisor. "Bard is good about making donations. I don't know how many they touch locally, but I know they touch quite a few financially. But rather than just doing it from a monetary perspective, Bard formed a committee ... that focused on community service."

Huckaby credits Mark Johnson, facility maintenance team leader at Bard, with the idea of redoing the Prevent Child Abuse office.

Not only did Bard employees deliver a new desk, but also a credenza, bookshelves and chairs. They also repainted the walls and replaced the ceiling fans.

"We are a full-fledged office now," Berry said.

According to Huckaby, Bard paid for the paint and donated the furniture from its surplus collection. Employees who did the work were on the clock, he said, though Johnson donated some of his personal time as well.

"I don't think I've ever worked with a group that was so excited and appreciative of the services we've done," Huckaby said.

The project was so successful that Huckaby said he's challenging his department to come up with quarterly community service goals.

As for Prevent Child Abuse staff and volunteers, they're brimming over with gratitude.

"Nonprofits do a lot and very seldom do people remember us, that we're running off low fuel most of the time, but we're still trying to put resources into the community," Berry said. "For someone to come in and say, 'Hey, you guys deserve something,' it's just amazing."