Recently, The Sharpe Group embarked on two service projects that allowed us to step away from our desks and work to improve our local community in a more hands-on way.
For the first project, we partnered with Treadwell Elementary School to design and paint murals in two of the school’s most prominent corridors. Treadwell, an inner-city Memphis public school once on the state’s probationary list of underperforming schools, has improved its ranking and is now considered a “Striving School,” working diligently to increase its educational quality for students. After several meetings with the school’s principal and vice principal, the decision was made to focus the murals’ theme around the school district’s new motto—Every Child, Every Day, College Bound.
Sharpe Senior Graphic Designer Marianne McHann spearheaded the project, creating multi-image murals that incorporated the school’s new motto and reflected the cultural diversity of the students. After preparing the walls by sketching out the mural outlines, McHann guided Sharpe employees and their family members through the painting process.
The Sharpe volunteers spent most of one Saturday painting, with some returning the following day for touch-up and clean up. The following Monday, Treadwell elementary students were greeted with two dramatically changed hallways. Where there were once cream-colored cement blocks, colorful murals now stand—images that we hope will brighten students’ days and encourage their success for years to come.
Treadwell Facilitator Forrestine Owens expressed her appreciation to the Sharpe “artists” in a thoughtful thank you letter: “I want to personally thank your team for graciously volunteering to do the murals. You did a wonderful job of making the students and teachers experience the warm feeling the murals give. I wish you could have seen the smiles on the students’ faces as they entered the building on Monday morning. Our parents were delighted to see the colorful paintings as well. We can’t thank you enough.”
Food bank deposits
For Sharpe’s second service project, employees were divided into teams to collect canned goods for Operation Feed, the largest food drive specifically for area corporations to benefit the Memphis Food Bank. For two weeks, team members filled their collection boxes past overflowing. There was a friendly competition to see which team would donate the most food. At the end of the food drive, Sharpe employees had amassed hundreds of food items for the Memphis Food Bank. All the donations will help provide nourishment to the elderly and children in the community.
“Through both the mural project and the food drive, all the Sharpe staff came together, gave of their time and talents, and made a difference in our community,” said Tom Dyer, Chief Executive Officer of The Sharpe Group. “In the process, we learned a lot about each other and had a lot of fun. I am very proud to be a part of this dedicated, generous group of people. And we are all looking forward to working together to serve the local area in the future.”