— Tressa Northrop leaned on her shovel, breathing hard, wiping her brow, staring at a hole. Technically, it was a sandbox, but the sand was arriving tomorrow. But before the children of Kingston Children's Center get to dig and play and push around small dunes with toy bulldozers, the sandbox needed to be gutted, raked, shoveled and cleaned.
Enter Tressa and her nine co-workers from Unitil, who descended upon Kingston Children's Center on September 11 for the 2012 installment Day of Caring. The annual event, coordinated by United Way of the Greater Seacoast, connects employees of local companies with day-long projects at non-profit agencies.
"The value for us is tremendous," said Stacey Barnett, the Executive Director of Kingston Children's Center, which serves children from ages six weeks to thirteen years old. "The work that was done her today saves us money and allows us to focus our resources on direct services."
Along with the sandbox overhaul, projects included flowerbed weeding, mulching, raking, sweeping, wood chip fluffing and even some IT infrastructure work. Shawn Herrick, who works with Geographic Information Systems at Unitil busied himself with a manual push reel mower, cleaning out the blades and tightening the gears.
"What a nice change of pace," he said. "I think it's great to get out here and give back, especially on a day like this."
Pictured above is Shawn Herrick of Unitil as he repairs a mower for the Center.