SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Nursing homes across the Coast got a special surprise Saturday from hundreds of volunteers. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, a local business decided to give back to the Coast community by honoring the elderly.
The owners of Marsh and Rogers along with Rogers Insurance Inc. decided to host the first annual Adopt a Grandparent Day.
"Our goal with this is to visit with the elderly and honor them. Most of the elderly, about half of them who are in nursing homes, don't have people that visit them," said Kathy Rogers.
Nearly 300 volunteers across South Mississippi spent their day visiting, celebrating and cherishing these new found grandparents. One of those volunteers was 10-year-old Robin Edwards.
"It made me feel happy, because they're happy. That makes me feel happy too," said Robin.
16-year-old volunteer Deandria Turner heard about the event through her school and felt like it would be a good way to get involved with the community.
"I feel like somebody always has it worse than me, and I just like giving back," said Deandria.
Most of the volunteers left the nursing home having formed new relationships, and that is just what the sponsors want.
"We're hoping some people will come who don't have local grandparents. Maybe they'll make a natural connection, and they'll choose to come back again and again on their own," said Rogers.
This year's Adopt a Grandparent Day took place in 18 different nursing homes, but organizers say by next year, they hope to have enough participation to host one in every nursing home in the three coastal counties.