It all started with an offer from the town of Lake Waccamaw to the Lake Waccamaw Lions Club.
“Back in February we were given a request to take over concessions at the ball field for girls softball,” said Lions Club President Richard Speight. “We did not have a lot of people to rely on to help.”
Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina President/CEO Ricky Creech was in the meeting as a member of the club.
“After thinking what a good opportunity it was, I said, ‘you take it on and I’ll commit to giving the opportunity to our boys and girls at the Boys and Girls Homes to work with the Lions’,” Creech said. “‘They’ve got the youthfulness and energy. Y’all just sit back and supervise and let them do it.’ The Lions Club was able to do it because of that. And we had four girls that were there on a regular basis. They worked over 50 percent of the games. Because of that work, the Lions Club net profited over $3,000 during those 20 games.”
Cottage Life Assistant Coach Tommie Ross-Swain served as the primary staff liaison for the effort.
“We picked out four girls and met with Miss Pat (Medlin, Lions Club Treasurer) and Mr. Richard,” she said. “They were great to work with. They were very patient with the kids. Each girl was assigned a job and even on their bad days they went in and did a good job. Their social skills blossomed with their customer service and math skills benefiting. We went with their strengths so that they would feel like they had a purpose. They were developing real world skills. They did really well with the team work even when they were having bad days.”
One of the girls would work the window, taking orders and taking the money. Two of the girls would work as cooks while the other got the drinks and put the orders together.
“The girls were all diligent workers,” Medlin said. “They were very personable with the customers. They came in and knew exactly what to do. They learned life skills and we couldn’t have done it without them. Tommie was great. She would come in each time even when she wasn’t working.”
Speight agreed, “It was just phenomenal. Tommie served as coordinator for the girls and they helped with the entire season. We couldn’t have accomplished it without their help. They did an outstanding job and we truly appreciate the job they did.”
To demonstrate that appreciation, the Lions Club held a special picnic and provided each of the girls and the cottage staff with a gift certificate for their hard work.
“I think that people were surprised how well they handled themselves,” said Ross-Swain. “The Lions really appreciated the consistency of our workers and have expressed a desire to do it again next year.
“Our girls really like to experience people in the community,” she added. “They met some amazing people through the Lions Club and really bonded with Miss Pat. We are really looking forward to the Lions being even more involved with our campus.”
About Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina
Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., has been helping children since 1954. Since then, more than 7,500 children have benefitted from the services of the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. BGHNC offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, Success Coach services to prevent children from coming into foster care, and free children’s therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 320 children are cared for through the residential, community-based services, and school program provided by BGHNC at any given time. BGHNC operates its program, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. BGHNC is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.