WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - There’s a new place for kids to wait for the bus in Waveland.
To Sarge Washington, the bus shelter at the corner of Herlihy and Hart streets is a symbol of community. He and his wife paid out of pocket for the construction of the shelter, motivated by nothing else but the desire to give back.
“You got to start somewhere, and what’s a better place to start than where I was raised," Washington said. "Hopefully, it’ll bring something to everybody in Hancock County. Maybe we’ll see this somewhere else in Hancock County.”
When his father passed away in 1996, Washington continued to carry on his legacy, building upon the foundation he left behind in more ways than one. The bus shelter is built on the same slab of concrete where his father built something similar in the ’80s.
“It’s tough sometimes, but somebody’s got to do it, and I know he would want me to do it," Washington said.
Last weekend, Washington formally dedicated the bus stop in honor of his mother and in memory of his father during a family-friendly event to bring the community together.
He has only one rule for the bus shelter.
“No grown-ups is allowed to stop in there, unless you bringing your kid, or picking up your kids. No grown-ups allowed to sit in there because it’s raining or smoke a cigarette, no gambling, no drinking," Washington said. “I got community people who are going to call the police if they see any of that going on.”
While the shelter has a functional purpose of keeping kids protected while they wait for the bus, Washington hopes the project will mean so much more.
“The kids need to feel safe, that somebody has their back," Washington said. "And that keeps a lot of the unnecessary people hanging around, when they know that you got somebody in the community that cares about the kids, and it makes the kids feel a lot more comfortable.”
Washington hopes to work with the schools to make sure buses add the stop to their routes. He also said he is in the works of another project for kids in Hancock County for Christmas.