Our friends at The DeSoto Times Tribune recently ran a story about the United Way Day of Caring volunteer team from Atmos Energy working at the Baddour Center in Senatobia, MS last Friday. We reprint the story here with the paper’s permission. To visit The DeSoto Times Tribune online, please visit www.desototimestribune.com
United Way volunteers roll up sleeves in efforts
by ROBERT LEE LONG, Community Editor
SENATOBIA —Eddie Horne of Hernando rolled up his sleeves and pulled a few weeds, not to mention cleaning out a storage room.
The Atmos Energy employee, along with dozens of fellow employees, spent Friday helping clean up the campus of the Baddour Center in Senatobia, a campus for intellectually challenged adults.
“I’ve ridden by this place a thousand times and never realized what went on here,” said Horne.
United Way of the Mid-South kicked off its United Way Day of Caring Friday with the help of scores of volunteers like Horne.
Jenny Schultz, donor information coordinator with the Baddour Center, said the special day created by United Way gives volunteers a chance to rub elbows with the people they help.
“It’s a totally different experience for them when they see it and feel it than just seeing the name of an agency on a piece of paper,” Schultz said.
Bill Wood, a loaned executive from FedEx, helped marshal the troops of volunteers for the day-long cleanup project.
“This is about as good an example as there is about how people can help and why it’s so important to give of your time,” Wood said.
United Way of the Mid-South mobilized more than 1,000 people on Friday across the region.
Wood said any number of companies from the Mid-South, ranging from utility companies to federal government employees, “loan out” their employees for three and a half months for volunteer efforts.
It’s a case of raising human capital for worthwhile projects, Wood said.
However, along with volunteering their time, FedEx is one company which also contributes payroll deductions.
In fact, FedEx employees gave more than $5 million to United Way of the Mid-South last year.
“It’s a challenge, fund raising funds in today’s world,” Wood said. Wood emphasized he was strictly speaking as a volunteer.
Dave Skorupa, vice president of communications for United Way, said it is part of the mission of United Way to help match up agencies with dedicated volunteers.
“A lot of people want to help because they see the need and want to get involved,” Skorupa said.