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Lowe’s tells Palmetto Pregnancy Center to ‘dream bigger’

If Palmetto Pregnancy Center in Lake Wylie was holding out for a hero to dream big, it found one.

On Dec. 19, about a dozen volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Lake Wylie dedicated 125 hours to complete a wishlist presented by the center’s director, Lori Doehling.

“To have businesses come in beside us, it takes a little bit of that burden off us,” Doehling said. “That’s just amazing.”

As Lowe’s store manager Jeff Ledford and his employees considered how they could best serve the community through the company’s annual Lowe’s Heroes project, the idea to help the pregnancy center at 6393 Lake Wylie Road was hatched.

“We asked a lot of people for ideas,” Ledford said.

He said that initially the center wanted more storage shelving.

“I told them, ‘I don’t think you’re thinking big enough for what we can do,’ ” he said. “ ‘Dream a little bigger.’ ”

So Doehling came back with a list.

The wishlist included painting throughout the house to brighten rooms, putting in a new toilet, replacing light bulbs with LEDs, building additional storage, installing a granite countertop in the reception area, replacing folding closet doors, and adding stepping stones and handrails at the side door to the resource room. The project cost $2,400.

“I think we did everything on it,” Ledford said.

“They did a great job,” Doehling added. “It’s going to make a difference in our client’s lives.”

Palmetto Pregnancy Center is a faith-based nonprofit with three locations, including Lake Wylie in York County. The center offers free, confidential services to support those facing a planned or an unplanned pregnancy. Doehling said the Lake Wylie location sees more than 500 clients a year.

“We serve the entire family,” she said. “We’re really here for the individual and family needs of the community. If we encourage and support our families, it builds a stronger community.”

The Lake Wylie Lowe’s store at 5288 S.C.557, Clover, also accepted donations. It then delivered a a gift basket to the center on Dec. 31; the basket had 15 $10 gift cards to Walmart and was full of supplies, including pacifiers, diapers and other items.

“Things they run short on,” Ledford said of the donated items.

One thing the store doesn’t run short on, Ledford said, is employees willing to pitch in to help by volunteering on their off-hours.

“That’s just the type of people we have working here,” he said.

According to the Lowe’s Hero website, “Each year, Lowe’s employees team up to provide thousands of hours of support to local communities as part of the Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteer program. The company-wide program encourages employees in a location to work together, adopt a volunteer project with a local nonprofit organization or K-12 public school, and make a difference.”

Wells Fargo also helped the center in the fall with a $1,000 community grant to replace outdated office furniture with new chairs, decor and educational pieces, Doehling said.

An open house to see the renovations and learn more about the center will be held 4-5 p.m. Jan. 6. Doehling said the open house will be followed by prayer time from 5-7 p.m.

“It’s a fresh start for the center,” Doehling said of the new year.

Doehling added that 2015 will bring the addition of a wall in the waiting room area and a few small projects.