GREENVILLE – The Light Foundation provided the manpower to construct a new pergola and do some ground maintenance on Monday at the Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville.
“We came here last year, and we has some unbelievable feedback from the community,” Matt Light, founder of The Light Foundation, said. “More importantly these guys really enjoyed coming here last year. They got to meet residents, and they came away with a feeling like they really did something.
“With Dale (Musser) and the entire team here, again to come up with a way we could come back and lend a helping hand and do something, that’s what these community service projects are all about,” Light said.
“The Light Foundation, it’s our Focus Leadership Program,” Light Foundation Programs Director Nick Schuckman said. “We have been working with BRC for the last couple months. We are putting up a pergola and a little deck outside for the residents to come outside and enjoy the outdoors, the lake and have a little shade to protect them from the sun.”
The group of 16 youth is made up four freshmen from New Orleans; four sophomores from Worcester, Massachusetts; four Providence, Rhode Island, juniors and four seniors coming from Nashville, Tennessee.
“This program we only do here in Greenville once a summer,” Schuckman said. “We bring these guys in for 10 days, but outside that we go visit them throughout the year in their home state. Also we are on the phone with them once a week checking on them making sure they are doing the right things at school, at home and just all around becoming successful young men.
“The year of hard work is kind of celebrated here at camp when we bring all the kids to Greenville at Chenoweth Trails,” Schuckman said.”It’s just a special time for all. It’s a reconnect and help each other build and get better.”
“It’s even more interesting when you see the interaction that takes place,” Light said, explaining the interaction between the residents and the young men from The Light Foundation, “when you hear some of the stories the residents tell these guys about growing up and these guys asking questions about what they did for a living.
“One of my favorites last year was, they asked one of the young ladies here that was getting ready to turn 100 what the secret was and she said, ‘you have to love what you do and do what you love,’” Light said. “That’s pretty simple and pretty straight forward, but I say she’s been pretty successful. She’s been around doing that for 100 years.
“It’s cool to see the interaction of the residents,” Light added. “I know they get a kick out of seeing these guys, too. We have a lot of characters, and they get a great deal of enjoyment out meeting these guys and being a part of it as well, just as much as we do.”