FLORENCE, S.C. – Several members of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church (UMC) spent Monday evening giving offices at Wallace Gregg Elementary School a fresh coat of paint.

The volunteers have gone to the school four times in the past week and have plans to return to the school. They have painted the principal’s office, the main office and the nurse station.

“This is just another step in our process in being good neighbors,” said Rev. Reginald Lee, pastor of Mt. Zion UMC. “You know, the Bible asks you, ‘Who’s your neighbor?’ The school is our neighbor. You can literally walk from our church to here.”

In addition to the painting projects, members of Mt. Zion UMC are collecting school supplies for the school to distribute to children who might not have supplies.

Tara King, the principal of Wallace Gregg Elementary, said seeing people volunteer their time in projects at the school shows their interest in the children.

“It’s really about all of us working together to make our school better, and so to have people that are willing to come into the community who are willing to put in time and hours to do something to make the school look better for the kids in our community, it’s just rare,” King said.

Frank Cooper, who retired from Florence One Schools in June, said he decided to come out and help for the kids and for the community.

“I’m willing to come and volunteer my time for the kids and for the community,” Cooper said. “And that’s why I’m here.”

Cooper worked in maintenance for the district and did some work at Wallace Gregg Elementary.

Lee said their work at the school is an extension of their ministry outside of regular church services.

“We are hoping this is the beginning of a long, rich and fruitful relationship between our church and Wallace Gregg school,” Lee said.

A group of volunteers from Mizpah Baptist Church also volunteered earlier.

King said she wants to grow community involvement with the school this school year.

“It’s not just about what they can do for us; it’s about sending that message to our kids that education is important and values are important,” King said. “We’ve all got to be speaking that same language.”

For more information about volunteer opportunities with Wallace Gregg Elementary, contact King at 843-615-1148 or tara.king@fsd1.org.

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