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Cabarrus Magazine

CMS 2nd Annual ‘Day of Service’ Helps Deserving Cabarrus Residents; Non-Profits

Aug 23, 2019 10:18AM ● By Jason Huddle
Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) used their second Day of Service to return the love and appreciation they receive, back to the community. SMI Properties, the Performance Racing Network, U.S. Legend Cars International, and zMAX paired with CMS to help the community as well. Between locations of six local non-profit agencies, 170 volunteers began at seven o’clock in the morning, on August 21, to assist in giving back to the community by building a wheelchair ramp for a veteran, laying mulch, constructing a rock climbing wall, mowing lawn, weed eating, adding fences, educating children, creating care packages, stuffing bookbags, and several other services. The non-profit organizations involved in the Day of Service included The Church of God Children’s Home, My Father’s House, Opportunity House, Wings of Eagles Ranch, and Youth Villages.

Volunteers joined Purple Heart Homes to build a ramp in only nine hours at the home of Bill Whitley, a Korean army veteran (1951-1954). This addition allows Whitley’s wife, who uses a wheelchair and a walker, to finally be able to get out and enjoy the fresh air with ease. Not only did volunteers assemble the ramp, they also fixed up anything they could at the residence and planted flowers and shrubbery in6  the front yard.

“We had no problem recruiting volunteers, the problem we had was getting people to stay in the office,” Scott Cooper, CMS Vice President of Communications, shared “Even those who didn’t get to come out and volunteer were able to create care packages and stuff backpacks, so everyone helped out.”. As to the motivation for the idea of Day of Service, Cooper added, “When you serve someone else, you serve yourself. The hard labor pays off because you see the difference that’s being made, instead of just raising the money.” 

Purple Heart Homes is an organization designed to help veterans throughout the country with any house work, repairs, or yard work that is needed. John Gallina, co-founder and CEO of Purple Heart Homes, mentioned, “Not every crew can work like this together.” The hard work and services’ reward showed through the smile and pure happiness of Bill Whitley. Whitley’s daughter, Bonnie, said her father, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, spoke more today than he has in four months.

Another worthy project as part of the Day of Service took place at My Father’s House, a ministry
 that is part of Cooperative Christian Ministries (CCM) which helps families facing homelessness. CMS and volunteers refurbished shrubs, built four storage units for the families, constructed a fitness room, laid twenty cubic yards of mulch, water sealed the gazebo, painted, put down flooring, and installed counter tops. 

“Charlotte Motor Speedway contacted us to volunteer and come help with whatever we needed. We combined four major projects and with twenty-five volunteers, they finished everything today. CMS works together and they work like crazy,” explained Project Manager of CCM, Tery Albright. “In November when the weather is cooler, CMS will return to paint and reline the parking lot for us.”

My Father’s House shelters families facing homelessness for three to nine months. From this shelter, they can move to CCM’s mother and children’s shelter, where they are able to stay for up to one year. CCM works with the families to build their credit, find jobs, and place them into teaching houses with an income base rent. 

Additionally, at SMI Properties, volunteers assembled 400 care packages while other volunteers educated 97 children from the Boys and Girls Club as part of the Speedway’s STEM program at zMAX Dragway. Youth Villages (Backpack Heroes) stuffed backpacks for those in need, as well. 

“The meaning behind the Day of Service project is to make a difference and give back. We want to serve the millions of fans who give to us.” Greg Walters, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, shared. “It was important for us to give back to this area, and this city, to be able to see a direct impact in our community. Seeing it on their faces, that they are being impacted and we are helping, that is the reward.” 

This was Charlotte Motor Speedway’s second year conducting Day of Service and it is planned to continue this project annually.  It is clear CMS believes in reciprocating the support they receive from the community by making a difference and giving a helping hand wherever they can, spreading smiles throughout.

Story by: Rachel DuQuette
Photos: Jason Huddle

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