(MOBILE, Ala.) Twenty years ago, Austin Key was a junior at Murphy High School. As part of the VICA club, he took part in a service project at the Child Advocacy Center.
"We came and donated our time and services to help the Child Advocacy Center get decorated for Christmas," Key said.
Now, two decades later, Key is revisiting the project. Key and his employees at Bugmaster visited the CAC Tuesday to deck the halls--unpacking boxes, assembling the Christmas tree, even hunting for that one pesky blown light bulb in the strand.
"It's so nice to have them, after all these years, come back and do it," said CAC Executive Director Pat Guyton, "and I'm so glad Austin remembered us."
And Guyton remembers Key, even after so many years. A lot has changed at the CAC since then.
"We've gone from a facility of 5,000 square feet to 8,500 square feet. Back then we served approximately 300 new cases each year, now we're up to 700 new cases a year," Guyton said.
It's the little things like a Christmas tree and a few holiday toys that make the children feel welcome at the center this time of year. And, it's a project Key plans to make into a new annual tradition.
"It's important to me, and the guys that work with us feel the work we do here, it goes so far in the community," Key said.
"That caring giving spirit he had as a junior and senior in high school over at Murphy with the VICA club has continued all these years," Guyton said.