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Home Depot Volunteers Beautify Francone ES for Start of School Year

August 22, 2015

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Home Depot employees Ro Ferrier, far right, and Bobby Newland, background, point out places in need of mulch as fellow volunteers Dave Vazquez and Sylvia Ellison unload the bags to include in Francone Elementary School flower beds during a campus beautification effort on Aug. 21.

Aug. 22, 2015—Volunteers from local Home Depot stores came together to beautify a CFISD campus when they renovated the landscaping at Francone Elementary School on Aug. 21.

The effort by Team Depot, an associate-led volunteer program, was a continuation of service projects at four district schools over spring break through a partnership with Second Baptist Church—Cypress.

Although the Francone project was postponed in March due to rain,Team Depot returned in time for the first day of school to align with its mission of creating life-long, meaningful relationships with the community.

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Home Depot employees David Brooks and Sylvia Ellison toss bags of mulch toward the flower beds at Francone Elementary School.

“It’s part of our values of what we do as a company to give back to the community,” said Amy Wiesinger, a human resources employee at Home Depot’s rapid deployment center (RDC). “With what the community gives to us, this is a way for us to say thank you and give back.”

About 20 employees from Home Depot’s North Eldridge, Copperfield and RDC locations arrived early in the morning to weed beds and gardens, spread mulch and plant shrubs throughout the school’s property. Copperfield store manager Stone Shi provided the mulch, vegetation and fire ant killer necessary to make the campus look stunning for the Francone community.

“We want to make sure that we provide the absolute best for our students,” said Dr. Tonya Goree, Francone principal. “When I met with Amy and Stone this summer, they laid out a plan I was extremely excited about. I asked if it was possible to do the project right before school starts. We wanted to make sure it looks amazing for kids when school starts Monday.”

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Home Depot “Team Depot” volunteers including Byron Spampinato, left, lay and rake mulch around a tree and bench near the front entrance of Francone Elementary School.

Dr. Goree said the result of the project will boost the school’s customer service efforts.

“I think the environment of a school has to be welcoming and inviting,” she said. “Most of the community will never set foot on our campus, so it’s important to enhance that perception—not just for our students, faculty and staff, but the general public.

“It takes the entire community to help a school become successful. Home Depot came out and gave us their own time and resources. It’s nice to have that support.”

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Volunteer Namagosi Mukuluatende uproots weeds from flower beds in the rear property of Francone Elementary School.

Wiesinger said that the visual result of a beautification project is a proper reward for the effort that went into it.

“It gives you chill bumps,” she said. “When you do a project and everybody’s in it sweating together, then you’re able to stand back and see the result – it really only takes us a short amount of time and impacts so many peoples’ lives. All of our volunteers are here on their own time and they want to give back. That’s how much heart they have in it.”

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Volunteer Karen Ney puts a new plant outside the front entrance of Francone Elementary School.

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Santiago Garcia, a Home Depot volunteer and Francone parent, sprinkles fire ant killer around the flower beds at the CFISD elementary school. 

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