Tornado relief drive Saturday in Flowood

Tornado relief efforts continue, and here’s a local event accepting items for the children.

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First Ridgeland Baptist Church volunteers spend spring break in Ridgeland community garden

First Ridgeland Baptist Church volunteers spend spring break in Ridgeland community garden

Youth leaders and members of First Ridgeland Baptist Church worked in the Ridgeland Community Garden during spring break. Wes Tankersley, student minister, is a member of Ridgeland’s Healthy Hometown Committee. Jerry Williams, also a member of Ridgeland’s Healthy Hometown Committee, is the project director of the Ridgeland Community Garden. Williams secured a donation of $500 for the garden from Lowe’s Ridgeland. Produce from the garden is distributed to the needy through First Ridgeland Baptist Church. Pictured are volunteers from left (back) Justin Medders, Wes Tankersley, Camille Kelly, Bailey McClellan, Hope Ellison and AnnaKris Byrd. From left (front) Gabby Vinson, Carly Chennault, Robert McClellan, Bailey Williamson and Jerry Williams.

Second day service photo!

RidgelandGardensecond work day

Submitted by the city of Ridgeland

Ridgeland High to host blood drive

Ridgeland High School Ambassadors are working with Mississippi Blood Services to host a blood drive at Ridgeland High this Friday. The blood drive is not only for students, teachers and faculty to sign up for, it’s also open to the community. The blood drive takes place 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the school gym. To sign up, contact Ambassadors sponsor Erica McGee at (601) 898-5023.

Strengthen your community through volunteerism

I’m always on the lookout for volunteer opportunities and Volunteer Mississippi often sends information about how to serve your community. Starting next Tuesday, Volunteer Mississippi will hold information sessions to discuss the availability of federal funds to support local national service programs and opportunities to access national service resources. Programs include AmeriCorps State, VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and Senior Service Corps programs.

All sessions will be an hour and a half long. Those interested in submitting an application for an AmeriCorps State program to operate in 2014 will meet for an additional hour after the presentation, for Nuts & Bolts of AmeriCorps State.

DATES/LOCATIONS:

STARKVILLE – Tuesday, August 20, 9 – 11:30 am

                      Greater Starkville Development Partnership, 101 S Lafayette St, Starkville         

 

HERNANDO – Wednesday, August 21, 9 – 11:30 am

                            Gale Center, 2601 Elm St., Hernando

 

CLARKSDALE – Thursday, August 22, 9 – 11:30 am

                              Coahoma Opportunities, Inc. – 115 Issaquena Avenue, Clarksdale

 

 JACKSON  – Thursday, August 29, 9 – 11:30 am

                         William F Winter Building, 200 North St., Jackson

                                               

 HATTIESBURG – Tuesday, September 3, 9 – 11:30 am

                                  Train Depot Community Room, 308 Newman St., Hattiesburg

 

GULFPORT – Wednesday, September 4, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

                          Knight Nonprofit Center, 11975 Seaway Rd., Gulfport

AmeriCorps is a grant-funded national service network providing resources to Mississippi communities. Service program members pair with nonprofit and faith-based and community organizations and public agencies to build volunteer capacity and meet locally-identified needs. AmeriCorps members also recruit area volunteers to directly address core issues—education, disaster, health, veterans, and the environment—forging self-sustaining communities. To learn more or register for an information session, contact AmeriCorps Mississippi Program Officer Judy Stein at (601) 842-6700 or judy@volunteermississippi.org.

During the public information sessions, Volunteer Mississippi invites informal comment from the public concerning the use of service and volunteerism as strategies to meet critical community needs. This input will be considered in the development and implementation of a national service plan for the State of Mississippi. Comments will be accepted during each public information session or may be submitted in writing by email to info@volunteermississippi.org. Comments should be received no later than 5:00 p.m. Central Time, September 30.

Volunteer Mississippi engages and supports Mississippians of all ages and backgrounds in service to their communities. As your state office of volunteerism, Volunteer Mississippi administers AmeriCorps programs, supports a network of Volunteer Centers, and coordinates other initiatives fostering community engagement and building volunteer capacity throughout the state. Contact MCVS at (888) 353-1793, our website http://www.volunteermississippi.org, Facebook http://www.facebook.com/volunteeryall and Twitter @volunteeryall.

Free dental care for Mississippians in need

Not long ago, the Suburban Digest featured the Mississippi Dental Association’s Mission of Mercy project. The project aims to provide free dental care to as many as 2,000 people this weekend at the Muse Center on the Pearl campus of Hinds Community College. Community volunteers, University of Mississippi dental school students and other groups, services include fillings and extractions and preventive care for adults and children. No proof of income or dental insurance is required.

Here’s some basic information in case you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity or lacking dental insurance to get a simple teeth cleaning:

Volunteers can sign up at http://www.msdental.org or call (601) 664-9795 and speak to project coordinator Michelle Aiken. Volunteers can do many things such as unload trucks and set up the clinic, greet and register patients, give health screenings, serve as translator and help pass out food and drinks. The clinic starts at 6 a.m. and people have been known to line up overnight.

Donate blood in honor of Perry Tyner Tate

This Friday, Northside Elementary is hosting a blood drive in honor of Perry Tyner Tate, daughter of

Perry Tyner Tate

Perry Tyner Tate

Principal Joy Tyner.

The blood drive will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, March 22. There will be two buses in front of the Northside & Eastside campus on Arrow Drive.

Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ups will also be accepted. Mississippi College radio station 93.5 will be on site from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a live broadcast.

“Students will be taking home literature this week about the blood drive and will be trying to enlist donors,” said Elizabeth Shepherd, Northside counselor and blood drive coordinator.

Tyner said the event meets her goal of making sure Northside students participate in a philanthropic activity.

“This also meets several goals set by our health council,” she said. “And of course, it is especially meaningful to me that our health council wanted to host this event in Perry’s memory.”

Perry Tate died on Jan. 2 from hemophagocytic lymphohistiocystosis, a rare disease that affects 1 out of 1.2 million people. She was 23 years old.

In addition to the blood drive, there will be a station in the Northside atrium where donors may be swabbed and registered to become part of the bone marrow registry.

“Blood donors donate life every time they give blood,” said Tony Bahou, Mississippi Blood Services public relations manager. “ If it were not for partnerships through schools like Northside Elementary, fewer Mississippians would have a chance at life.”

Donors must be at least 17 years old (or 16 with signed parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds for females and 130 pounds for men, and have a valid ID. For additional information on blood donations, visit www.msblood.com or call Mississippi Blood Services at (888) 902-5663.

“Perry and I shared many passions, among them, our love for children,” Tyner said. “She spent her teenage and early adult years in service to children. Please join me in honoring Perry’s service to others by giving the gift of life.”

Submitted by Clinton Public School District

Successful Great American Cleanup for Keep the Rez Beautiful

I saw this video on Facebook, watched it and felt compelled to share it with you. I’ve known about Keep the Rez Beautiful for some time and this group of hard working volunteers stays busy making sure that the Reservoir area stays clean, healthy and a nice place for the animals and citizens.

The nonprofit held its third Great American Cleanup on March 9. Over 100 volunteers cleaned up litter on land and in the water and planted trees, cleaned up 2,500 pounds of litter from the streets and streams and planted 50+ trees and shrubs in the U.S.D.A.’s People’s Garden. Volunteers include Boy and Cub Scouts (including Cub Scout Pack 329) and St. Mark’s UMC Missions. Waste Management, Duncan Marine, Troy-Bilt, Beagle Bagel Cafe – Highland Village and Pearl River Valley Water Supply District sponsored our event. KRB partners included Keep Mississippi Beautiful, Adopt-a-Stream Mississippi, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Mississippi Department of Transportation and Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

If you want to learn more about KRB, see the Facebook page. Enjoy the video!

Find service opportunities on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin-Luther-King-Jr-9365086-2-402On Friday, I received an email from Volunteer Mississippi, the state’s volunteerism office. It was an invitation for all Mississippians to do acts of service and charity throughout the year starting with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 21. Search or create volunteer opportunities on the Mississippi MLK Day website, http://mlk.msdaysofservice.org. There you can find tool kits and other resources to help you get started.

A press released stated Volunteer Mississippi was established by executive order in 1994 as the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service (MCVS). Volunteer Mississippi has worked to encourage a culture of citizenship, service and responsibility to America. “Volunteerism is an open secret in Mississippi: it’s everywhere, but few people talk about the small and large acts of kindness they offer to the world around them,” spokeswoman Deirdra Harris Glover said. “Our organization aims to help Mississippians find meaningful ways to connect to their neighbors and communities, and also to honor and recognize those who make significant contributions to our great state and her people.”

The agency’s website has a new look to reflect the new name, featuring messages from the First Family, volunteer profiles and information about national service programs in the state. Visit VolunteerMississippi.org and take the pledge to make 2013 “The Year of the Volunteer.”