It was a beautiful morning for Johnson and Johnson Vision Care employees from the Research and Development and New Product Development team, who came out last Friday to Ramona Elementary School, a Full Service Schools site, to freshen up the campus.
There were garden beds that needed cleaning out, an irrigation system to install and new picnic tables to build.
Part of the team already logged 22 hours total of preparation work: cutting wood, building valves and taking trips to a garden-supply store before coming to the school site that morning.
Johnson and Johnson Vision Care’s projects at Ramona Elementary will serve several purposes. The new irrigation system is designed to service the beds and be used for demonstration purposes for science classes. The garden beds will be maintained by TEAM UP after-school students, who will learn responsibility and business skills as they decide what to do with the resulting produce. The new picnic tables will be used under the gazebo and around the courtyard, replacing older, worn out tables. The refurbished courtyard will be a beautiful focus for many future school events.
“We get to help them,” Johnson and Johnson Vision Care employee Doug Lilac said. “It’s good for the kids. My kids love our vegetable garden, especially since we live in the city, and they don’t see as much here with agriculture and farming. It gives (a feeling of) ownership if they’re accountable for it.”
Part of the team worked on the beds, installing a cardboard weed barrier and coconut-husk lining before filling in with new topsoil.
The second group put together hexagonal shaped tables. Team members designed the tables themselves, cutting down on production costs and allowing them to do even more for the school. The tables will be used, primarily, near a new gazebo, which is the central focus of the courtyard. School administrators are looking forward to having more tables to use for family gatherings and other school activities.
This was the culmination of a week-long series of “Days of Caring” by the company, once again putting into motion an organizational credo of giving back to the community. Other projects included helping at All Saints Learning Center and serving a community breakfast at the Clara White Mission.
“We take our credo to the community seriously,” said Pat Adams, team leader for the Ramona Elementary projects and director of new product development in Johnson and Johnson Vision Care’s Research and Development department. “I am grateful for the opportunity to both reach out to the community and do some team building with our team at the same time.”
School volunteer projects are one of several ways you can give back to the community through United Way of Northeast Florida. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, Dec. 1, as we celebrate Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving, on social media (#GivingTuesday). We hope you will consider making a contribution to our causes on Dec. 1 at www.unitedwaynefl.org/donate.