One day just to give back to community

By Amanda Burke,

LEOMINSTER — The Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster has one mission: Serve the children.

Sometimes, that means day-to-day building upkeep falls through the cracks.

But not on Thursday, when about 40 employees from international real-estate firm Keller Williams dug out their gardening gloves or grabbed a drill to help the youth development organization tidy up for spring.

“It’s great to have a few extra sets of hands to get work done that we might not get to ourselves,” said Kelly Hartnett, volunteer coordinator for the Boys & Girls Club.

Up to 120,000 Keller Williams Realtors, photographers and office employees from around the world mobilized on Thursday to give back to their communities in honor of RED Day, an annual, company-wide day of service. RED stands for renew, energize and donate.

Around noon, Patty Collette scrubbed down shelves inside the Boys & Girl Club greenhouse. The Westminster-based real-estate agent and her colleagues had been running from task to task since 9 a.m.

“This is a big job,” she said, pointing to a collection of plants and gardening supplies she and Leominster-based agent Michelle Lopez had moved outside the greenhouse to make way for their deep clean.

“It’s giving back to the community,” Collette said. “This is such a great organization for the kids.”