If youâ€™ve noticed the bright, freshlyÂ painted walls at Â ECHOâ€™s administrativeÂ building on Lawson Road, thank theÂ United Way Day of Caring and a team ofÂ volunteers from Target. Megan Johnson,Â executive team leader of human resourcesÂ at Target, was looking around last summer for a way to â€œreach out to our community, to make a difference.â€ She calledÂ United Way who put her in touch withÂ CEO Bill Haney, and the rest is history. Haney and the ECHO staff met MeganÂ and eight volunteers at the front doorÂ Aug. 23 with rollers, brushes and paintÂ and work started. In half a day, the TargetÂ team painted the main hallway, two lunchÂ rooms, two bathrooms and an office. WeÂ anticipated every need so no time wasÂ wasted,â€ Haney said. â€œWe had dropÂ cloths, ladders, paint, tape and rollers.â€ The day started with a â€œget to knowâ€Â meeting, Haney said, so ECHO could useÂ its volunteersâ€™ skills in the best way. Donâ€™t like ladders or walls?
No problem â€“Â the parking lot needs striping.Â Haney said he will happily give a similarÂ opportunity to other groups. â€œAnd if aÂ group wants to help ECHO but doesnâ€™tÂ take to painting, I can match them withÂ some other project. I can always find aÂ suitable project.â€ Every year, Johnson said, Target designates a month to ask its employees andÂ staff for donations to their community.Â This was their first trip to ECHO and itÂ â€œwas a great experience, very rewarding,â€Â Johnson said. Sterling resident Debbie Romanovitz,Â produce team leader, said she had beenÂ looking for an opportunity to volunteer,Â but out of the store. â€œIt was fun, doingÂ things together,â€ she said.Â By Shannon Sollinger for ECHO