VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - For many teens, giving up a day off from school to spread mulch is not something they would consider.
But for more than a dozen Lowndes County teens, they not only considered the idea, they actually did it; spreading fresh mulch on the playground at the Lowndes County Children's Advocacy Center in Valdosta on Monday.
"It just feels great to have them all come, especially on their day off, to give their time because they know there are other kids about their age or younger that really need the help," said the CAC's Clinical Director Allison Owen.
Owen said the mulch will help make the playground safer for the kids and will also help some kids feel more comfortable and make them more willing to go outside and play instead of staying inside the center.
"There's nothin' better than community service. There's no better feeling than helping out people that are in need," said Lowndes County High School senior and varsity soccer player Carson Paige.
Paige joined many of his fellow Lowndes High varsity soccer teammates and helped spread mulch as part of the team's day of service program. The players decided to take part after they heard that some other Lowndes County youth groups were taking part.
Jack Crawford was a member of one of the groups, the Lowndes Youth Leadership League, and said this event taught him a valuable lesson. "If you have the ability to help someone," Crawford said, "you should."
Preston Crawford, a seventh grader at Hahira Middle School and member of another youth group helping spread mulch, Y-LEAD, said he wanted to help in order to gain leadership experience.
"I think of myself as a leader, but I'm almost there but not really," Preston explained. "So, I wanted to learn more leadership."
But their efforts may not be long-lived, as the CAC was looking to relocate. They were trying to secure enough land and funds by April 1st in order to receive a grant worth about $500,000 dollars to build a new center.
In the mean time though, they had a safer, happier place for the kids to play at the current center.
If you would like to donate land or money to the CAC to help them reach their goal, checks can be mailed to or dropped off at the center, located at 200 W. Moore St. in Valdosta or contact Dedra Hughes at (229) 563-5222.