A need was seen and addressed in a big way at the Horn Lake Animal Shelter when about 40 employees representing 10 Home Depot stores in the greater Memphis area converged to spend part of the day fixing up, repairing and painting the facility.
Horn Lake Home Depot manager Michael Cobbs, who is also a district community captain, explained the nationwide home improvement franchise routinely takes on projects to help others.
“Home Depot completes a minimum of 2,000 of these kind of projects every year,” Cobbs explained. “We really believe in giving back to our community, rolling up our sleeves and getting dirty so we can serve them.”
The workers all volunteered their time for the Animal Shelter work and came from the stores in Horn Lake, Olive Branch, the Memphis metropolitan area and as far away as Jackson, Tennessee.
“Our organization is really committed to giving back to the communities we serve,” Cobbs explained. “We don't want to just take folks' money and get them to come in and support us.”
So, the workers came on a rainy morning and set about making repairs, hanging items and painting the containment areas in the shelter, where Nina Wingfield is serving as interim executive director while the city looks to name a permanent director.
According to Wingfield and Cobbs, Home Depot was looking for a project and the Animal Shelter was needing the help. They, in turn, came together and got involved in the work.
“Projects done were to install wire shelves in the cat house and laundry room, install a bathtub and faucet with a c sprayer and build out for the work station,” said Wingfield. “They also installed tool racks for brooms, squeezes, leashes and patch poles, installed wood fencing for garbage cans and recycling bin, painted the large industrial rack system to hold all of the wire and plastic kennels and traps, and painted the cat house walls and floor with marine base paint, and cinder block walls.”
Wingfield said she came to Cobbs with the expectation of having the volunteers complete just one project from a list of six, but Cobbs had other ideas.
“Talking with Mayor (Allen) Latimer, we recognized there was a need for the animal shelter to get a facelift to improve the facility,” Cobbs said. “So, I was in a meeting and we talked about it. Nina Wingfield was in our store, mentioned the need and that got it pulled together.”
Horn Lake Ward Six Alderman John E. Jones Jr. was on hand the morning of the Home Depot project and remarked that what he saw was “a wonderful thing,”
“We're turning this thing around and the help Home Depot is giving us in supporting this, the shelving, painting and reconstruction is great,” said Jones. “It's going to help animals, help the people who when they come can see the animals in a good environment, and it's going to be a good thing for the city.”
Bob Bakken is Managing Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune.