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Partnering to paint

Lockheed Federal Credit Union employees volunteer their time to paint portable classrooms.

March 27, 2008

BY CHRIS WIEBE
The Leader

NORTHWEST DISTRICT — School was out for spring break at Bret Harte Elementary on Thursday, but a group of civic-minded volunteers were hard at work on school grounds.

More than 40 Lockheed Federal Credit Union employees put down their pens, pushed away from their keyboards and picked up paint brushes, setting their sights on four fading portable classroom units that were left out of the school’s modernization efforts in 1999. “We’ve always had these eyesore bungalows that no one has really done anything about,” Principal Diane Berger said. “So this is great.”

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The project comes as a part of the Partner to Paint program and the credit union’s Volunteer-Time-Off program, which enables employees to volunteer for community-service projects during paid company time, said Alethia Calagias, community relations specialist for the credit union.

Employees decide whether to volunteer and how much time they want to devote to a project, Calagias said.

“It’s great because we’ve had a lot of participation,” she said.

Senior Vice President of Marketing Andrea Carpenter is a veteran participant of the program.

“It’s really fantastic; we all feel good about helping no matter whose time it’s on,” she said. “It’s a way to have fun and be good neighbors and help the community one building at a time.”

The effort also involved the contributions of local businesses T&T Improvements Painting Company, whose owner Tim Tilton will be assisting with the project, and Dunn-Edwards Paints, which donated 75 gallons of paint to do the job.

Last year Lockheed Federal employees painted the home of a credit union customer, but wanted to do something different this year, Calagias said.

Then bank officials contacted the Burbank Unified School District’s facilities office, where staff members identified the fourth- and fifth-grade portable classrooms at Bret Harte as a location with painting needs, she said.

“We’re just glad to be there and glad to be a help,” Calagias said.

Last year credit union employees also started the Community Stars program, which provides financial support to select local charities, Calagias said. Employees can opt to devote a portion of their monthly payroll check to the nonprofit organizations, which the company matches, she said.

This year Community Stars is contributing to the Burbank Temporary Aid Center and three other organizations in Sherman Oaks, North Hills and Santa Clarita.

As the classrooms at Bret Harte started to shine with fresh paint on Thursday, Burbank school officials lauded Lockheed’s continuing community service contributions to Burbank.

“Lockheed has been a force of good in the community for a long time,” Berger said. “And we’re glad they’ve chosen us.”

•?CHRIS WIEBE covers education. He may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at chris.wiebe@latimes.com.

 

 

 

 

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