Local realty firm trades in cell phones for trash bags

By Brad Kessie - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Thursday was Red Day for the people at Keller Williams Realty.  They shut down their office to renew, energize and donate back to south Mississippi.

"It's very heartwarming to see people set aside their business, their jobs for a day, just to do a selfless act," said Jeffrey Phillips.

He's the managing broker at Keller Williams Realty.  He was also the team leader of an office clean up project.

Gregory Viglianese had a 2:00 closing on his schedule.  But just a couple of hours before the realtor made some money, he was on garbage detail along Highway 90.

"The cigarette butts are unreal.  There are so many.  It's crazy," he said.

Then, he looked at the area he just cleaned.

"It looks much better don't you think," he asked.

This was Red Day at Keller Williams Realty.  The company's community service initiative had a very simple goal. Spruce up a section of south Mississippi.

"People get so wrapped up in their daily lives and trying to make money," Phillips said.  "And every now and then you just have to step outside of yourself and give back."

For one morning, and one afternoon, officer workers put down their phones, and picked up trash.  Linda Beaton found "lots of bottle caps.  A lot of plastic.  A Tupperware lid" littering the beach.

She was one of about 20 realtors who got a day off from the office to bag up beach debris.  They all felt renewed, and energized because of their donation back to Biloxi.

Kathy Trisotto normally answers phones in the office.  On Thursday, she was crawling through an empty fountain to pick up trash.

"We do get wrapped up in our everyday lives and forget to give back.  So, this is our day to give back," said Trisotto.

Jenifer Hickman was proud to join Trisotto and the rest of her colleagues for the Red Day clean up.

"Anything for the community," said Hickman.

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