Katrina Uprooted Couple Teaches Volunteers About Giving - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Katrina Uprooted Couple Teaches Volunteers About Giving

A coast couple forced to relocate after Katrina is back in South Mississippi this week with a half a dozen young volunteers in tow.

Johnny and Sylvia Dorsey work at a Job Corps Center in Albany, Georgia. Before Katrina took everything the couple owned, Sylvia worked at the Job Corps Center in Gulfport. Now they're back with lessons they're sharing with the young people they brought to Mississippi.

Twenty-one-year-old Kendrick Walls plans to one day own his own lawn care service. It's a goal, he says, he wouldn't have dared to dream a few years ago.

"I was raised in the streets and coming to Job Corps, it has brought me out of that. So it's a real good thing," said Walls.

This week Walls is among six students from Turner Job Corps Center in Albany, Georgia sprucing up the homes of elderly Gulfport residents. At Turner, they study landscaping and maintenance, so students say coming to paint and do yard work is good training.

Jeffrey Whitt said, "We're getting experience in working and we're using the skills we learned while we were at the center and we just want to come out and do a good job."

However, the lessons for the volunteers go far beyond developing better job skills. The trip was organized by staff members Johnny and Sylvia Dorsey. The couple moved to Georgia after Katrina took their home and Sylvia's job at the Gulfport's Job Corps to Katrina.

Sylvia Dorsey said, "It makes them have more compassion for others. They need to see that in doing. They'll go back...  and they'll be able to share some of their experiences and hopefully some of the other young people will want to come and join in with us."

"We wanted to come back because we've had so much help since we've left here," said Johnny Dorsey. "The community there has reached out to us, and we felt as though we can bring back to our community some of the things that people have brought to us. "

The job corps members say as they reach to accomplish their goals, it feels good to help someone else along the way.

The Dorseys say they are rebuilding their home and plan to move back once it's finished. They are also hoping to one day return to work at the Gulfport Job Corps, which has been closed since the hurricane.

by Danielle Thomas

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