Fort Mill Times

Clover Area Assistance Center gets makeover

Greyson Floyd, with Clover Area Assistance Center director Karen van Vierssen, spruced up the entrance and other areas at Clover Area Assistance Center as part of his Eagle Scout project.
Greyson Floyd, with Clover Area Assistance Center director Karen van Vierssen, spruced up the entrance and other areas at Clover Area Assistance Center as part of his Eagle Scout project.

Greyson Floyd may not smile a lot himself, but he’s lit up more than a few faces lately at Clover Area Assistance Center.

Floyd, 17, recently completed his Eagle Scout project by renovating the entrance area at the Clover nonprofit. There’s a new bookshelf area in front. New counters and cubicles follow. Walls have fresh paint. Chairs have new upholstery.

“I wanted to do something that makes a difference in the community,” Floyd said.

Floyd and crew arrived after a noon Thursday closing. He worked eight hours that day, then 11 more on Friday with painting help from the Lake Wylie Rotary Club. Floyd put in a 12-hour shift on Saturday and six more hours Sunday.

“He finished the entire project during that time without ever causing us to close for the customer,” said Karen van Vierssen, CAAC director. “You cannot believe it is the same lobby.”

Lowe’s Home Improvement in Lake Wylie helped with construction materials. Rhynes Upholstery in Clover provided services, as did professional carpenters Gerry Corrigan and Jim Collins.

“Doing an Eagle project is a lot like being a general contractor for a job,” said dad Jason Floyd.

Jason is Scoutmaster for Troop 365, which meets at All Saints Catholic Church. Mom Jennifer Floyd is committee chairwoman. Younger brother Carter, 15, is a Scout, too. The family became involved with CAAC in 2011 through the Scouting for Food program where Scouts collect items and deliver it to local food banks.

Those visits are what got Greyson thinking about helping CAAC for his Eagle project.

“I’ve been here many times,” he said. “That’s why I chose to help here. It needed to look less institutional. It needed a warmer feeling.”

Greyson said the project “definitely was not peaches and cream,” but it was rewarding. His group put in a combined 240 service hours. Most of it spent using materials the center already had, but in new ways.

“I’ve re-purposed a lot of stuff, but it was still new for me,” Greyson said. “It was definitely a learning experience.”

Along with new paint, the first change clients will see is the tree-themed bookshelf in front. The wood came from the same wall, just in a different spot and configuration.

“This is stuff we already had,” van Vierssen said.

The changes are more than aesthetic. It includes more counter space and more private areas for new clients to come in for processing.

“We did not have private (space) before,” van Vierssen said.

People have to see the changes, she said, to believe them. And people are.

Clover Area Assistance Center is a nonprofit operating throughout the Clover School District boundaries. The center provides food, education, financial and health care support. The center opens to clients three days a week.

The center had plans to make entrance improvements as the third phase of its Full Choice Pantry Project. The center wants clients to feel like they’re in a grocery store rather than an emergency aid facility. Having known the Floyd family through Scouts, van Vierssen said it was an easy decision to incorporate Greyson’s ideas with what the center wanted to accomplish.

“He made a number of changes to the original plan to better meet our needs today, and the end result far exceeded anything we could have imagined,” she said.

With about 15 Scouts, the Lake Wylie troop is one of the larger contributors each year during Scouting for Food with about 3,000 pounds annually. The troop also is producing an inordinate amount of Eagles.

“We’re a fairly small troop,” Jason Floyd said. “We’ve had one Eagle Scout and on the cusp of (Greyson) getting his, we have another one who is about to get his Eagle.”

Jason Floyd was glad to see his son’s project help a whole community, something his Scouts will be doing again in November for the annual food collection event.

“I’ll definitely be back,” Greyson Floyd said.

John Marks: 803-831-8166

Want to help?

The Palmetto Council of the Boy Scouts of America’s annual Scouting for Food Drive is this month. On Nov. 7, local Scouts will drop off donation bags and information throughout the community. On Nov. 14, Scouts will collect the donated food items and deliver them to partnering organizations including Clover Area Assistance Center.