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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -
Around 200 people in South Mississippi took Friday off from work, to volunteer. They took part in a variety of community projects as part of the United Way's annual, "Leo Seal Day of Caring".
The late Leo Seal was a longtime executive of Hancock Bank, who was known for his generous spirit and his involvement in the community.
That legacy of volunteerism lives on with this annual "Day of Caring".
A team from Hard Rock casino worked to build a raised vegetable bed at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center.
"It's a great way to get your employees to know one another in a non-work environment. Besides that, as a bonus you get to help the community," said volunteer, Bob Callaway.
The Hard Rockers enjoyed their opportunity to give back to their community. Tarzan Treadway has a personal connection with Lynn Meadows.
"My daughter, in fact, has been here a few times and enjoys the place. So, it's nice to do something that we as a family use," he said.
The children's museum appreciates the volunteer labor that's helping this garden project come together.
"Kids from school groups that come into the museum will be able to pick the vegetables and we're going to have healthy cooking classes," said Sonja Gillis, with the children's museum.
While the Hard Rock team prepared the garden, Mississippi Power volunteers helped sort toys.
Though it resembles Santa's workshop, it was actually the Salvation Army's angel tree headquarters.
"It is wonderful. It helps you get in the Christmas spirit. And we're enjoying it," said volunteer, Kate Szkolnik.
The spirit of giving is what the United Way aims to promote on this special day.
"This is just a way we can show how United Way is working in the community. And we encourage everybody to get out there and volunteer. Find a place they can serve," said John Hosey, with United Way of South Mississippi.
A leadership class at Mississippi Power decided the Leo Seal "Day of Caring" offered a perfect opportunity to contribute.
"We're having a great time. We're all together, out of our work environment and doing something we feel like is making a difference," said Terri Lee.
Other projects included landscaping work, sprucing up neighborhood parks and helping out at the Marsha Barbour community center.
Around 200 volunteers participated in Harrison, Hancock and Pearl River counties.
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