Belk employees pay it forward

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

We are reminded so often that Shelby County is the state’s wealthiest county and one of its economic beacons of light that sometimes it’s difficult to remember an important truth — as important as it is for Shelby County to be economically healthy, it’s just as important for our community to be healthy in other ways.

We all have to help one another in any way we can — donating our money or our time to those less fortunate, paying it forward.

It’s wonderful to see when we are able to bring together our economic health with our community’s health, and recently we saw just that when employees from the Alabaster Belk department store visited Creek View Elementary to make upgrades to the school’s library and grounds.

These volunteers took time away from their jobs to build bookcases for the school’s library, construct picnic tables for the school grounds and paint inspirational messages on the walls. The volunteers also donated books the store employees collected over the past several weeks, and placed “magic carpet” reading carpets in the school’s library.

The work was part of Belk’s “125 days of service” project, which honors the company’s 125th anniversary. The best part? In addition to Creek View, 249 other schools across the country also received upgrades, courtesy of Belk employees. Many of those schools were in the Birmingham metro area.

I think Creek View Principal Brent Byars found an eloquent way to speak about the relationship between businesses and the community: “We are excited to have (the volunteers) here. It will better help the kids to understand the relationship between the community and the schools,” Byars said. “We tell them that not long from now, this will be their community and they could be working for or owning a local business. Everyone starts in elementary school.”

I appreciate the Belk employees for helping to set an example, both for the Creek View students and for our community. Thank you all for paying it forward.

Amy Jones is the Associate Editor for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext 30 or by email at