Lowe's Heroes Replace Fencing at Horse Facility at Tekoa's Girls' Campus
Pilot, Va. – On Tuesday, August 7, Christiansburg Lowe’s employees took their home improvement skills on the road as they helped improve the safety of the horse facility at Tekoa, an at-risk youth residential treatment center in Floyd, Virginia.
For two days, Lowe’s employees joined Tekoa youth and staff in removing the old 600-foot wood and wire fence from around the horse ring, clearing the brush line, and replacing it with a new wire fence that will be safer for both the Tekoa youth and the horses. In addition to all the supplies and volunteer hours to build such a project, Lowe’s is also donating new mowing equipment to maintain the facility.
This project is being conducted as part of Lowe’s Heroes, a company-wide employee volunteer initiative. Christiansburg store manager John St. Onge, who organizes his store’s Lowe’s Heroes group, said he first heard about Tekoa through another community project with Perry Martin, Director of the Virginia Tech Service Learning Center.
"We worked with Perry on their Hometown Healing Project, by donating the Hokie-colored flowers that they planted around the New River Valley," St. Onge said. "We were looking for other projects that we could actually do more work for, and he suggested Tekoa. We really like the organization and the things they are trying to do, so it seemed like a good fit."
Tiffany Smith, who direct’s Tekoa’s equine program, said, "Lowe’s has taken a lot of initiative around this project and have been extremely helpful in assessing our situation and working with their extensive resources and staff expertise to create a wonderful plan to make significant improvements in our facility."
Each year, Lowe’s employees nationwide dedicate hundreds of volunteer hours to address safety concerns in their own communities. Lowe’s Heroe’s teams partner with local organizations to educate their community about safety with programs focusing on such issues as child safety, fire safety and senior safety among others.
Community Housing Partners (CHP) is the sponsor of Tekoa, a non-profit corporation which provides residential care and special education services for at risk youth. Established in 1994, Tekoa operates 4 facilities and employs teachers, therapists and counselors to provide housing, education and life skills development for 50 youth annually. Using a strength-based model, Tekoa utilizes experiential learning such as therapeutic recreation, community service and equine activities to facilitate healing and healthy development for the residents.