Moss Point students learn the value of volunteering

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - By Patrice Clark – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) – Moss Point students are using their time and talents to help their neighbors in need.

The good deed is part of a new post Katrina rebuilding program sponsored by International Relief and Development. The non-profit organization has helped more than 3,000 people rebuild post Katrina. The goal is to promote community service.

Bracky Cooper is the head contractor for the organization's new Neighbors helping Neighbors volunteer program.

"Welcome to the house today," Cooper said to his young team.

A group of Moss Point high students make up Monday's building squad. The teens are rebuilding an elderly woman's storm damaged home.

"Most of the damage is going to be up in her ceiling. She has water damage, and stains, and sheet rock falling, and you guys are going to in a clean all that up," Cooper said.

The neighborhood kids went straight to work, but it didn't take them long to find out repairing a home is not easy work.

"Putting up the mud and stuff, I look at my hands and I was like, 'Ugh,'" Germany Tate said.

"I have been patching holes in the roof. Look at my hands," Shelby Harris said.

The teenagers admit getting your hands dirty is not so bad when you're giving back to a community in need.

"Once you make somebody smile that brings the smile to your heart," Tate said.

Bracky Cooper said it warms his heart knowing these teens are learning that giving of your time pays off. He hopes more neighbors would do the same because there is still a lot rebuilding work to be done.

"Five years is a long time in the minds in other states and in other parts of the county, so it's very important we build up our volunteer base locally."

The teenagers couldn't agree more, and they promise this volunteer build won't be their last.

The students received community service hours for volunteering. If you would like to volunteer or need storm assistance, call the International Relief and Development organization at (228) 864-6677.

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