GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Mayors across the country honored service and volunteerism on Tuesday. April first is "Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service." One such ceremony took place on the steps of Gulfport city hall.
"We're proud of what you do. You make a huge difference for us," said Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes, as he welcomed volunteers to city hall.
Mayor Hewes honored a variety of service and volunteer groups, from the young people at Climb Community Development, to the older adults who volunteer as Senior Companions.
"We go and sit with them, talk with them. And each companion does different things," said senior volunteer, Dorothy Woods.
"Being able to get out every day. And I enjoy helping other people," said Inell Mitchell, when asked why she enjoys volunteering with the program.
The mayor appreciates those who make their communities a better place to live and work.
"It is critical that we recognize the work that you do and the involvement that you lead by example and show folks the importance of getting involved and giving back to your communities," said the mayor, as he read the formal proclamation.
Many of the young people recognized are students at Climb Community Development.
"We help students get their GED. We give them job skills training. They can learn culinary skills, hospitality skills," said Cindy Ward, with Climb Community Development.
Al Hampton is a student in the culinary program.
"We've learned how to cook a lot of different foods. Like our boneless sweet tea chicken, our shrimp salad avocado, our Creole deviled eggs. And so many other foods, I just can't name right now," he said.
After reading their proclamation, Mayor Hewes said they also deserved some applause.
In recognizing the groups, Mayor Hewes recited a portion of the "Jaycees Creed" which he said was appropriate.
It says: "Service to humanity, is the best work of life."