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20130321 B&GClub Extreme Makeover AF  5336MISSION—Eight selected Mission Boys & Girls Club members ran excitedly, from room to room through a newly painted and furnished club building last Thursday. A large painted space ship seems to fly off the wall in the front entrance and polka dots decorate the hallways to individual playrooms.

The facelift to the Boys and Girls Club building was provided courtesy of 150 T-Mobile employee volunteers who converged on the club last Thursday, performing a one-day, sweeping makeover of the facility. The volunteers repainted rooms, added painted murals, prepared flower beds and created outdoor games for the children. The club also received new furniture, school supplies, books and games.

T-Mobile Regional Vice President Jon Frier, who worked right alongside the other employee volunteers said, “300 employees wanted to come, but we only had room for 150.”

A total of $7,000 was used to purchase furniture, paint, plants and activity accessories for the club. Also, a $10,000 check was donated to the club, all funds were provided by T-Mobile and employee donations.

“We hope that they (club members) are excited about all the investment that the employees have made, the investment that T-Mobile has made, and we hope that they have a better after-school experience as a result,” Frier said. “We want them to be part of an environment that is safe, that is rewarding and that is educational.”

The building, which had primarily plain, white walls, is now covered in bright colors, stripes, alphabet trees and cartoon characters.

The makeover project was coordinated by Corpsgiving, an organization that assists companies in coordinating volunteer programs that engage employees in projects such as this one to benefit local communities. This is part of T-Mobile’s Huddle Up program, begun in 2006 as a national outreach effort that helps connect kids in high-need areas to positive people, places and programs.

20130321 B&GClub Extreme Makeover AF  5322Corpsgiving National Program Manager Cacey McReavy explained that they looked at several organizations in the area as potential sites for this project.

“We presented our top three recommendations to T-Mobile and they selected this one as the winner,” McReavy said. “I think the big thing is exposing the kids to volunteering. The kids come in and hopefully, it will be taught to them that people in the community care about them even if they don’t know who they are.”

T-Mobile employees worked from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on March 21 to complete all the changes in a short period of time. McReavy said Boys & Girls Club Program Manager Ginna Villarreal was able to design how each room would be changed.

Mayor Norbeto “Beto” Salinas and Deputy City Manager Aida Lerma were in attendance during an unveiling ceremony Thursday after the work was completed and expressed their appreciation on behalf of the City of Mission.

“I just walked through all the rooms and it is completely different….” Salinas said. “ I really want to thank all of the people who are here today and helped us. On behalf of the board and the city I really want to thank everyone for caring for our city and caring for our kids.”

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