Students returning to Wilkinson Elementary this fall will hardly recognize their beloved halls, as several volunteers are working to take the walls from drab to fab this week.

From Tuesday May 28 to Saturday, June 1, members of New Hope Church in Williston are participating in Love Does Week, taking part in a variety of service projects around the community. Wilkinson is one such project, with Project Leader Laura Grad and a team of about 15 volunteers grabbing brushes and rollers to spruce up the schools hallways. Grad works at Oasis Petroleum, and brought several volunteers from the company along to help paint on Tuesday.

The school submitted the hallway project to the church, where it caught Grad’s attention.

“I like to do volunteering with my team at work every year for team building,” Grad told the Williston Herald. “This project didn’t have a project leader yet, and it seemed like a pretty big project. I have a team of 15 people, so I just decided to take on this project, thinking that we can hopefully knock it out.”

Grad said the project was something the school wanted to have the project done, but lacked the budget to complete it, which is why they submitted it to the church.

Through the Love Does project, donations came from Oasis, PerfX Wireline services, New Hope and Diamond-NDT for materials, with Sherwin-Williams offering the paint at cost.

Grad and her team will spend two days at Wilkinson, painting the hallways, doors and trim in order to give the school a fresh new look for the fall.

“When I came here to evaluate the project, it was kind of heartbreaking,” Grad said. “Just seeing that one, they didn’t have the budget, which is why the other companies got involved and donated; and two, just how old this building is and how old the paint is. It’s amazing just how much a difference a coat of paint is going to make with the teachers and hopefully the kids, too.”

Throughout the week, volunteers from New Hope will be taking part in projects all over the community, from Wilkinson to Trinity Christian and Bethel Home to Camp UMM. Painting, gardening, trash pickup and more are all part of the service New Hope is providing during Love Does week.

On Saturday, June 1 from 1 to 4 p.m., New Hope will be hosting a celebration and cook out at Harmon Park to wrap up the week.

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