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Walmart volunteers lend a hand

Union Leader Correspondent

July 24. 2013 10:48PM

RAYMOND - Volunteers with the local Walmart Distribution Center have been busy this week sprucing up the adjacent Jedediah Brown Homestead, home to the local Rockingham Community Action Center.

Two buildings on the property have new coats of paint, shelving for the food pantry has been reorganized and repainted and landscaping done last year was also improved upon.It is at least the third year volunteers from Walmart have turned out to help their neighbor. The effort also helps draw money from the Walmart Foundation to the center to help with fuel assistance and other local needs.Patte Ardizzoni, administrator for Rockingham Community Action, said it is impossible to put a price on the value of the work that has been done.

In addition to the tangibles, the effort also helps provide a more professional environment for those being served.This past winter, about 1,500 families were served through the fuel assistance program. The center also offers a Women Infant Children program and the food pantry.

The center also works closely with the town's welfare department to assist in ways the town cannot.This is the second year Walmart Distribution Center employee Brenda Smith of Fremont has brought her two sons, Kyle, 14, and Kevin, 12, to help out.

'It's great to be able to help the community, and we're learning along the way,' Brenda Smith said, as she painted shelving. 'It's good to get the kids involved in community action.'Greg Caruso took the job of transportation manager at the distribution center about three years ago. The manager before him had done a lot with the fuel assistance program, and Caruso wanted to expand upon that, so he reached out to Ardizzoni.Working with the community action center only made sense. The property was part of a land purchase Walmart made in the late 1990s to create the distribution center, and which Walmart then donated back to the town, who in turn allows the Rockingham Community Action Center to use it.Caruso said it is good to get his employees together for some fun team work outside of the office, while also interacting with the community and doing their part to help.

Walmart employees will be back on site in September for another week of work.

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