Home Depot makes memorial for 6-year-old possible

Posted August 11, 2009 7:11 p.m. EDT

— In tough times, when so many schools are forced to cut, Poe Elementary School in Raleigh is growing and planting and digging.

It all started with a butterfly-shaped bench, in memory of kindergartener Kamryn Bailey, 6, who loved butterflies. She died last summer from an asthma attack.

"The entire school was devastated," PTA mom Eileen Mullen remembered.

Mullen called Home Depot to see if the home improvement store would give the school a discount on the bench to honor Kamryn.

"The answer I got was no, but they did offer to do landscaping," she said.

Store manager John Somerville rallied his troops and they offered Poe a $5,000 gift card to pay for supplies and more than a dozen Home Depot employees to do the job.

"This is a great project, and we're just happy we could be a part of it," Somerville said.

Most employees volunteered their time Tuesday – on one of the hottest days of the year to transform this school courtyard into a peace garden for Kamryn. Volunteers will be back Wednesday to finish building flower beds and planting trees.

In the end, the project won't even use up half the money that Home Depot allotted, so workers say they'll be back to work on more projects with the students throughout the year.

"We're here to try to help," Somerville said. "This is our new adopted school."

Kamryn's mom, Sherry Bailey, is amazed by the generosity of the volunteers and Home Depot.

"You have a little girl for just six years, and you just want her to be remembered, and here it is," she said.