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Volunteers renew YMCA camp
An empty section at Darien Outlet Mall - once 6,000 square feet of bleakness as one volunteer described it - was transformed in just two days into bright, user friendly space.

The new and vibrant look is the product of free labor provided by dedicated individuals during the United Way of Coastal Georgia's Days of Caring on Thursday and Friday.

On Friday, more than 60 volunteers painted, cleaned and organized what will become the McIntosh County YMCA's children's summer camp area in Darien Outlet Mall off Interstate 95.

As bright shades of pink, turquoise and orange went up on the walls of the room, volunteers assembled cubbies for youth, as well as storage racks, a puppet center and more.

Haley Hill, director of the McIntosh YMCA, headquartered at Darien Outlet Mall, was thankful to see the community come together for the project.

"The Y strives to strengthen the community and when the community comes together to help us do that, it creates even more future support for what we do here," Hill said. "It's the circle of giving.

"Now we aren't just a fitness center. This space is just as much a part of the Y."

Joining Hill and much of her staff in the project were members of the McIntosh Rotary Club, Lions Club and 4-H, as well as business employees. Staff at Darien Outlet Mall, students from College of Coastal Georgia and parents and board members of the YMCA also joined the effort.

Angela Robb, volunteer and community service coordinator with United Way of Coastal Georgia, oversaw much of what went on in the Darien project.

The work was done in combination with a project at Safe Harbor in Brunswick. United Way of Coastal Georgia covers Glynn and McIntosh counties.

Robb said the Days of Caring has produced countless volunteers for future projects.

"We knew the Safe Harbor project would take a lot of manpower in addition to this project, so we really rallied the volunteers. But so many have showed up," Robb said.

"People like the Air National Guard have come forward, realizing how much they can do in their local communities, and are encouraging more participation in the future."

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.

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