New Volunteer Center To Open In Jackson County - - The News for South Mississippi

New Volunteer Center To Open In Jackson County

On Monday, the Pascagoula City Council unanimously approved a request from Habitat for Humanity, Rebuild Jackson County and Mississippi Home Again, to turn the city's recreational center into a volunteer headquarters. 

Group members wasted no time getting to work.

"Our goal today is this room, and just the front part of the building," Mississippi Home Again Founder Tammy Agard said.

Volunteers from AmericaCorp and other organizations spent hours cleaning to get the Pascagoula Rec Center in tip top shape.

"Will be sweating today," Rebuild Jackson County Member Valerie Damazio said.

In a few months, the gymnasium will be filled with volunteers from all over the nation helping people recover from Hurricane Katrina.

"Our idea is a volunteer comes down here and has a good experience, and works really hard,  and they will keep coming back," Mississippi Home Again Cofounder Annie Card said.

The center flooded during Katrina, ruining the electrical system and all the flooring in the building.   

"Everything from the three foot mark down, equaling $12,000 worth of infrastructure damage needing to be done." 

But once those damages are repaired, Annie Card expects the center to be the perfect place to relax after a long day's work. 

"We have showers, toilets, we have lots of recreation, we have footballs, we will have a nice lawn out back that we will be utilizing for barbecues."

"I feel this is monumental and absolutely necessary for the rebuilding process of Jackson County," Damazio said. "It needs to happen, and the word 'no' is not okay. As my co-founder, Annie Card said the word 'no' is not okay 'til Mississippi is okay."

Agard said Chevron Refinery in Pascagoula has agreed to pay for the electrical repairs in the volunteer center.

Organizers are asking the community to donate flowers or help with landscaping outside the center. If you would like to help, please call Rebuild Jackson County at (228) 475-7189.

by Patrice Clark

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