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City of Brownwood employees serve the public everyday; however, this Veterans Day was something special. On Monday, Nov. 12, City of Brownwood employees participated in a day of training and service. In honor of Veterans Day and to model the “I SERVE” City Core Values, over 230 staff members spread out over the city to work for Veterans and community service organizations.
The largest project was at Greenleaf Cemetery where 65 city employees installed poles for ornamental flags at the graves of over 1,300 Veterans. Greenleaf Cemetery President, Steve Harris, stated “We are very thankful and most appreciative of the increased assistance the City of Brownwood has extended our way. This recent and much needed Greenleaf improvement project speaks volumes to the character and priorities of our community. The progress being made at Brownwood’s Historic Greenleaf Cemetery is 100% made possible because of those who care and those that do.”
Additional service projects around town included yard work for Veterans, visiting nursing homes to thank Veterans for their service, baking cookies for Veterans who attend the Senior Citizens Center, hanging sheetrock and siding for the Brown County Home Solutions houses, cleaning up litter around the Salvation Army, and dismantling planting beds at the Brownwood Community Garden in preparation for the spring season. Board Member of the Community Garden, Kathryn White, was amazed at the amount of work that was accomplished. “The city employees that came to help were more than we could ask for. They did above and beyond our expectations. With the work they did we can now look toward the next growing season with a new set up to welcome people of all mobilities and feed our community fresh, nutritious food.”
Another team worked at Good Samaritan packing non-perishable food boxes for home delivery to Veterans and seniors, stocking the food pantry and sorting clothes. Leesa Stephens, Executive Director of Good Samaritan said, “Our hats are off to the City of Brownwood for an outstanding job helping us with the work that we do each day. City volunteers were placed in each of the different areas of our ministry, and they all rolled up their sleeves and enthusiastically completed every task assigned.”
One team assisted the Brown County Museum of History assemble a WW I Exhibit, and another group worked at the Ark Domestic Violence Shelter doing minor facility repairs.
The idea to serve our Veterans and the community originated with City Human Resources Director, David Dalleh. “I loved the idea,” said City Manager, Emily Crawford, “but I was nervous about pulling off such a large scale effort. I asked Department Heads if they would support the idea and do what it took to make it happen. They were on board and with several project leaders, it was a huge success!”
Staff members took pride in the service projects and the impact they had. Cold, wet weather did not deter their enthusiasm. Kyle Almond, a lineman at the Airport who helped at Greenleaf Cemetery stated, “These folks endured a lot worse than this for us, so we can do this for them.”
A photo gallery highlighting the service projects are on the City of Brownwood Facebook Page. I SERVE stands for Integrity, Service, Excellence, Respect, Vision and Empathy.