By Cindy Brookshire (Activate Selma NC) and Billy Roach (Selma Parks and Recreation)
On Tuesday, August 24, 2021, volunteers from Selma Parks and Recreation, Activate Selma, local businesses and Lowe’s of Smithfield endured the heat and dramatically changed the look of Downtown Selma during the first “Red Vest Day” as part of Lowe’s 100 Hometown projects.
“Red Vest Tuesday” is in conjunction with the Lowe’s 100 Hometowns, a $10 million initiative to celebrate Lowe’s centennial by completing 100 community impact projects across the United States by the end of the year. It is a workday with volunteers from the winning organization and their local Lowe’s store. The “Red Vest” comes from Lowe’s employees wearing the vests to identify themselves to customers so they can answer any questions for them.
Volunteers removed weeds, old mulch, laid fabric, planted new plants, divided some plants, plopped daffodils all over the beds and finished off with new mulch in downtown Selma, North Carolina along South Raiford, North Raiford, and Town Hall.
The volunteers worked from 9:30am until 2:30pm, drank lots of water and Gatorades that were donated by KS Bank, Inc. of Selma. Lunch was catered at the Civic Center by Pixie Dust Lunch Box and Bakery Shoppe.
Greg Wells, volunteer leader from Lowe’s of Smithfield stated, “We are so glad to be a part of this event and Red Vest Tuesdays give our employees a chance to give back to the communities where they themselves live.”
Lowe’s 100 Hometowns grant paid for the Activate Selma project with all the work being done with Selma volunteers, professional services and Lowe’s employees. Project manager and Selma Parks and Recreation director, Billy Roach, stated “The Town of Selma is humbled by the amount of support this project has generated. It is my great pleasure to lead Selma in this project. Not only does it help the town, but it helps the businesses and citizens as well.”
The second Red Vest Tuesday is planned for September 21, 2021, 9am-3pm. For additional information, contact Billy Roach or visit corporate.lowes.com/newsroom/100-hometowns.
Including Selma, there are 8 selected 100 Hometowns projects in North Carolina:
- Charlotte: Charlotte Community Park
- East Bend: Town Square accessible park
- Elizabeth City: Fowler Alley Community Space
- Hickory: Exodus Methodist Outreach Church
- Salisbury: Block Work
- Siler City: Chatham County on Aging + Rebuilding Together of the Triangle
- Wilkesboro: Anchor Ridge Kid’s Club
Activate Selma is a grassroots effort to keep a positive dialogue and communication going between the businesses and the town officials and to continue bringing in more voices from an ever-widening representation of people here in Selma.
What Activate Selma is accomplishing is urging business owners and everyday citizens into individual action that is then supported and promoted by the group. The incremental changes the group has worked to facilitate are still seen and appreciated by locals and visitors alike; these locals and visitors are then more likely to return and to share their positive experiences. More foot traffic to a place like Downtown Selma can often be the catalyst that kicks off those larger, higher-level projects. In addition, having an activated local citizenry is more likely to appeal to developers looking for thriving downtowns.
Activate Selma meets weekly to keep the group moving in the right direction. Their meeting place changes each week so members are aware of what their town has to offer and can speak intelligently about any given business within the town.
The group is currently working toward a 501c3 designation for non-profit status.
For more information, visit www.activateselmanc.com.
For Parks and Recreation and other town information, visit www.selma-nc.com.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a home improvement company serving approximately 20 million customers a week in the United States and Canada. With fiscal year 2020 sales of nearly $90 billion, Lowe’s and its related businesses operate or service more than 2,200 home improvement and hardware stores and employ over 300,000 associates. Based in Mooresville, NC, Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs focused on creating safe, affordable housing and helping to develop the next generation of skilled trade experts. For more information, visit Lowes.com.
Ed. Note: Originally published September 2, 2021. Updated September 15 with date for second Red Vest Tuesday.