For many across the area, Monday marked a day off from work and school, but for some Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear employees, it was a “day on” filled with hard work and labor.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a work holiday for Georgia Power employees, but it is also a day where its employees choose to give back to the community, according to Georgia Power spokeswoman Carol Boatright.
The volunteer day started in 2005 as a way to give back to Georgia communities and has continued through the years.
“Local leaders of Georgia Power take suggestions from employees about where to volunteer,” Boatright said. “It ends up being where they feel they can make contributions.”
This year’s Augusta community project was to help benefit Turn Back the Block, an initiative of the Augusta-Harrisburg Fuller Center for Housing Inc., a group of local volunteers who are dedicated to the rebuilding of Harrisburg by renovating abandoned houses and making those houses available to be owned by low-income homeowners.
The project was the demolition of an abandoned house at 1606 Broad St.
Anne Catherine Murray, the president of Turn Back the Block board, said her organization is designed to help hard-working individuals who might be low-income but who have a steady income and simply want to break free of the rent cycle and become a homeowner.
Tim McGill, external affairs manager for Georgia Power headed up the volunteer efforts for the project on Broad Street.
“It’s just a way to give back to the community,” McGill said “(The employees) feel it’s a worthy cause, and this is just one of the projects we have today. There’s always something.”
McGill and his co-workers were also joined by employee volunteers from Southern Nuclear at Plant Vogtle. Mike McCracken, the communications coordinator at Plant Vogtle joined in the demolition project on his day off and described the atmosphere as “contagious.”
Project manager for Georgia Power Mike Mills was there along with his two sons who have been participating in the volunteer projects for seven years.
“House by house, block by block, that’s how we are working on (Harrisburg),” Murray said. “We are so grateful to the volunteers from Georgia Power who have come to help us enhance Harrisburg.”