Several South Mississippians ditch work to volunteer

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Dozens of South Mississippians ditched work Friday, but for a good reason. Several Hard Rock employees were at Lynn Meadows putting together picnic tables and cleaning decks.

Senior Vice President of General Counsel Bob Callaway said it is important to take a day away from the office with your coworkers.

"I have always told people, rather than having corporate retreats and things of that nature, get some of your employees together and put them on a project," Callaway said. "We have done everything from putting sub floors down for Habitat for Humanity homes to planting a garden, and this year we are building picnic tables."

A day's worth of work means a lot to the employees at Lynn Meadows and more importantly the children who visit.

"I can't overemphasize how important they are to us, our volunteer base is amazing," Director of Development Karla Hennagin said. "We work with many organizations and they never fail to come through when we have a special event, have extra crowds in the museum and need extra eyes on the floor. We are blessed to have volunteers."

The Forest Heights Boys and Girls Club also had many volunteers helping out. In fact, they spent all week working on two different projects.

"We came to build a little garden for the kids to eat healthy and it helps them save money," volunteer Shanea Armstead said, "and build them a playhouse to play in because they really don't have anything out here like that."

The United Way hopes that by recruiting volunteers for the Day of Caring, it may inspire people to get involved more.

"Many people need volunteers and there are many ways to get involved," said Assistant Director of the Volunteer Center Juliane Molestworth. "It's life changing to volunteer and it really makes differences in people's lives."

"I just think it's a great experience for people, and if they have never tried it, they should," Callaway said.

The United Way hosts two Days of Caring a year, one in the Spring and one in the Fall.

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