Business Community

BrandsMart donates cash and furniture to Boys & Girls Club of Greater Augusta

The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Augusta’s new Teen Annex building is seeing a few upgrades, thanks to a $10,000 donation from BrandsMart U.S.A. on Dec. 7.

Back in October, BrandsMart opened its first location in Augusta at 216 Robert C Daniel Jr Parkway. As part of its goal to benefit the local community, the store donated $5,000 in cash and $5,000 worth of products, including a refrigerator, ice machine and 21-piece furniture set to the club.

Keith Hancock, a public relations executive for BrandsMart, said the donation came about because of the need to furnish the new center.

“We have a long history of giving back to the communities we serve,” he said. “One of the ways we do it is by partnering with organizations that are on the front lines like the Boys & Girls Club. They are making a difference every day. This gives teens a safe, secure place where they can go and hang out.”

Hancock added, “One of the things we like to do is help refresh these teen centers to make them more attractive, so that people will want to hang out and stay for longer.”

From left to right, Antoniyah Rolland, Felipe Blanding, Zyani Recendiz and Kim Evans. Rakiyah Lenon/Augusta Good News

Kim Evans, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Augusta, said the donation will help them give the kids the experiences they deserve.

“We want to retrofit this facility to help kids just have better opportunities,” she said. “Having BrandsMart donate all of this furniture and give us money to help us redo this building is incredible for our organization and very impactful for our teen program.”

The teen center moved to the location on Milledge Road in August, after the need to expand arose.

“It’s very important that when kids come into a space that they feel safe, both physically and emotionally safe,” she said.

Evans said they are hoping to grow their programs, specifically as it relates to workforce readiness.

Felipe Blanding, senior director of Teen Innovation and Workforce Readiness at the club, said BrandsMart’s donation will help them facilitate their approach to the club’s teens program.

“This is the first of our stand-alone teen clubs,” he said. “We’re furnishing and equipping it with our modern package for our teen program.”

Antoniyah Rolland, Youth of the Year winner for 2023 and longtime participant of the club, said she thinks the other teens will be excited to see the updates to the space.

“This will be a big upgrade from what we had,” she said. “This means that the teens get a full, total makeover at our stand-alone teen center.”

BrandsMart U.S.A. donated $10,000 in cash and goods to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Augusta. Rakiyah Lenon/Augusta Good News

Zyani Recendiz, Youth of the Year finalist for 2023, said the new space is a useful resource, allowing her to focus on her studies.

“I like to come here because it motivates me to do my schoolwork,” she said. “It kind of helps me separate my duties and my roles in different spots.”

Blanding added that both Rolland and Recendiz, who are 11th graders, are involved in administrative work as part of the program.

“They’re part of our youth employment program also,” he said. “Their role extends to mentoring and working with the executive staff, and the club stuff and mentoring the smaller kids.”

An aspiring nurse practitioner, Rolland said she is grateful for the opportunity to be involved in the program.

“The Boys & Girls Club has really helped me develop into the person I am today,” she said.

BrandsMart plans to continue assisting the organization’s efforts in reaching the youth.

Hancock said, “I hope this is the beginning of a new fruitful relationship with the Boys & Girls Club here in Augusta.”

Correspondent Rakiyah Lenon is the editor-in-chief of Augusta University’s Bell Ringer. Subscribe to the Augusta Good News’ newsletter here.

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