Volunteers support Pickens through iHOPE day of service

PICKENS — Despite the threat of rain, thirty caring people gave up their September 21st Saturday morning to show how much they care about the Pickens community. Two projects were completed, planting of azaleas at the new Pickens Amphitheater and removing plants and shrubs from the old Pickens Middle School to be transplanted at the new middle school at a later date.

The City of Pickens provided the plants and tools and instructions for correct placement and planting techniques. The team of twelve, many who had never met each other, worked seamlessly for two hours and planted at least 25 plants. Less than one hour after the last shovel of dirt was turned, the skies opened up and watered the new plantings for most of the day.

The second project was the “un-planting” of dozens of flowers, shrubs and plants at the old Pickens Middle School. According to project manager and teacher Louise Hope, many of the plants were paid for by grants and were lovingly nurtured for years. Parents, students and community volunteers transported several truckloads to the new Pickens Middle School which is located at the site of the former Pickens High School. It is estimated that the replacement costs for the plants could be several thousand dollars.

iHOPE Day of Service is the brainchild of Rev. Beverly Kelly of Pickens Presbyterian Church to promote the spirit and value of volunteerism, increase the awareness of local needs and demonstrate what people working together for the community’s good can accomplish.

Saturday’s event is the first of ongoing projects throughout the year. The next project will be a fall yard clean-up for Pickens Seniors. The date of this service day will be determined later this fall. The details of the event will be posted on United Way’s Get Connected page,

There will be plenty of opportunities for people to get involved, have fun and make someone’s life brighter.

For more information, contact Beverly Kelly at or Julie Capaldi at United Way,