Employees ditch work to volunteer

Published: Nov. 1, 2013 at 8:51 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2013 at 9:10 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Employees across South Mississippi ditched work today to volunteer for the United Way's Leo Seal Jr. Day of Caring.

The volunteer initiative couldn't have come at a better time for Disability Connections.  The non-profit is moving to a new facility and needed help painting.

With each stroke of the paint brush Hancock Bank employees carried on the legacy of the former bank president.  "Mr. Seal was such an influence to this company and was an advocate for education and volunteering, making sure we give back to the community and that is why we are here today to give back to the community," Hancock Bank Division Manager David Fayard said.

The VA Warrior Volunteers worked along side the bankers, washing the brushes and making sure everyone had paint. The group visits Disability Connections about once a month to lend a hand.  "It's important because it's a payback to the community," Warrior Luther Harold Lewis said. "The community served me well when I was in the service and this is just a regeneration of my service again."

Lewis said it was so uplifting to see so many other volunteers join them this month.  "That's one of the main things about being an American, we all stand together and show our support to one another," Lewis said.

While it may seem like just a little painting to Disability Connection it is so much more.  Founder Janie O'Keefe said, "It's so important when the community supports a non profit it makes all the difference, besides saving a lot of money if we would have had to hire professional painters."

The extra money saved means even more can be spent helping those with disabilities.

Fayard said, "It's what we do at Hancock Bank, we are a very strong united team and we want to give back to the community."

Part of the Day of Caring was pushed back to next Friday due to the weather. If you would like to volunteer then or any time click on the United Way Volunteer Link.  http://www.unitedwaysm.org/index.php?pr=Volunteer_Center .

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