BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - For the second year in a row, young volunteers spent some quality time with senior citizens the weekend before Grandparent's Day.
"To know that some of the people here they don't like have family that comes and visits them, so just being able to make their day and show them that we care and stuff like that. It just makes my heart happy," said Onna Thompson, who is a volunteer.
A large group of Biloxi High School students from the Interact Club, volunteered at the Brookdale Senior Living location. They spent their time helping the seniors paint a banner and just talking to them about their lives.
"I like to come out and help the elders, and talk to them about how they're doing and that they don't have families that come visit them. I know I have a family, so I'd like to be a part of their family," Audrey Bird.
Lisa Phan, who is the president of the Interact club, says the group was excited to volunteer with the event this year, because it's a special opportunity for both the young and old to learn from one another.
"Despite the age difference, they always welcome us and make us feel like they know us which is amazing," said Phan.
Marston and Rogers Group started the event last year, and thanks to added sponsors, they have been able to expand.
"Last year we had 18 nursing homes and over 300 volunteers, this year we have 20 nursing homes and over 500 volunteers," said Kathy Rogers.
Rogers, who works with Marston Rogers Group, says statistics show that 60% of seniors don't get visitors while in the nursing home.
"We're hoping that they'll make connections like some of the school clubs or Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, things like that, churches and they'll come back on their own, without us and visit and then that's our whole purpose to visit cherish and to honor the elderly," said Rogers.
Event organizers hope the number of volunteers and sponsors will continue to grow so they can add additional nursing homes to the list each year.