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The Catalyst

MUSC grounds crew, Kohl's employees team up for flowers

By J. Ryne Danielson
daniejer@musc.edu

Volunteers from Kohl’s department stores helped plant flowers around MUSC’s campus May 19 as part of Kohl’s Associates in Action program.

Volunteers from Kohl’s department stores donated their time to plant flowers on MUSC’s campus May 19 as part of Kohl’s Associates in Action program.

Associates in Action is one prong of Kohl’s corporate responsibility initiative that also includes partnering with hospitals and other nonprofit organizations to meet the needs of local communities. Programs that give away bicycle helmets or educate children about healthy nutrition are just a couple examples. Kohl’s also donates $500 to the recipient organization, and MUSC has benefitted from several of these grants.

This initiative dovetails well with MUSC’s own goal of promoting healthy communities, a goal of Imagine MUSC 2020, the enterprisewide strategic plan introduced last year.

MUSC groundskeeper Daryl Bonnette, from left, with volunteers Laurie and Tanya, MUSC groundskeeper Carlos Cruz, and volunteers Tyese, Marshana and Nicholas.

Daryl Bonnette, an MUSC groundskeeper who supervises the volunteers, said Kohl’s employees have volunteered almost a dozen times over the past five years, and that Kohl’s has donated thousands of dollars to the MUSC Children’s Hospital as a result. “Sometimes they bring their children to help out, which is such a treat,” Bonnette said. “These guys deserve a lot of recognition. When they volunteer, they’re actually volunteering. They’re not getting paid. It’s really special, and it helps us out so much because we can get a lot done very quickly with their help.”

Kohl’s volunteers planted trailing vinca outside the entrance to the Storm Eye Institute and near the enclosed pedestrian walkway linking the Clinical Sciences Building to the Colbert Education Center and Library. These hardy plant flower in spring or early summer and can continue on into autumn. Bonnette said she hoped they would put on a show all summer long.

Kohl’s employee Laurie Valentine said she had always wanted to volunteer for a good cause, and when she discovered the Associates in Action program, she jumped at the chance. “It’s amazing to get to volunteer with a group and help out more than I ever could on my own,” she said.

From how to plant trailing vinca to how much water to give them, Daryl Bonnette shared her expertise with Kohl’s volunteers and set them loose. Here, Kohl’s volunteer Marshana uses a shovel to plant flowers outside the entrance to the Storm Eye Institute on Ashley Avenue.

Another Kohl’s volunteer, Tyese Riley, who organizes many of the volunteer events, said her group is always happy to lend a hand at MUSC and with other charity and nonprofit organizations around Charleston. “Sometimes we reach out to the organization looking for opportunities to volunteer, but a lot of times the organization reaches out to us,” she explained. “We recently participated in the Cystic Fibrosis Walk at James Island County Park. I’ve been with Kohl’s 10 years, and we’ve done so much. But, our crew really loves coming to MUSC. This is the event that gets talked about a lot: coming to plant flowers.”

Bonnette said Kohl’s volunteers are always welcome at MUSC and will likely return in the coming months to help make MUSC’s campus even more beautiful.

June 3, 2016

 

 
 
 

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