Local residents volunteer to make a difference

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 24, 1999

Miss-Lou residents got to work Saturday in honor of the eighth annual Make A Difference Day.

People took part in a number of clean-up projects in the area.

Students from the Mayor’s Youth Council recruited members of the Trinity Key Club and the Natchez High Beta Club to help clean up a thrift shop that will benefit the Sunshine Shelter For Abused and Neglected Children.

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‘Thanks to these kids, this building will be ready for us,&uot;&160;said thrift shop employee Becky Thompson. &uot;As soon as roof repairs are done we will be in here.&uot;

The students said it was important to take part in Make A Difference Day.

&uot;It gives you a chance to help your community out,&uot;&160;said Joseph Balkman of the Natchez High Beta Club.

Reginald Woods, also a member of the Natchez High Beta Club and the Mayor’s Youth Council, thought it was great to have so many students working together.

&uot;It was fun and a great experience for all of us to get together and make a difference on Make A Difference Day,&uot;&160;Woods said.

The students also helped convert a former juvenile detention center to a multipurpose activity and learning center.

Natchez Assistant City Planner Gretchen Kuechler helped organize these two projects.

&uot;I think this was so successful because we had such a huge turnout,&uot; Kuechler said.

A&160;group of Cathedral students worked at the Natchez-Adams County Humane Shelter Saturday.

&uot;It’s important to show the people you care about them,&uot; said Sylvester Matthews, an 11th-grade student at Cathedral.

The Cathedral students included members of the Key Club, the Honor Society and the Student Council.

The students planted flowers, placed new gravel in some of the kennel areas and did general clean-up.

Cathedral junior Jonathan Elliot said the humane society shelter needs the extra help and donated supplies to complete these type of tasks.

&uot;It’s just stuff they can’t always do that will get done with our help,&uot; Elliott said.

Volunteers with Helping Us Grow Stronger (H.U.G.S.), an after-school program, cleaned out an old building on Sunset Boulevard Saturday for the program’s new meeting place.

At least 18 children and some adults participated.

&uot;We got a lot done today,&uot; said Gloria Jackson of H.U.G.S. &uot;We did great. All the kids did great.&uot;

For Jackson, Saturday’s work is a way to continue helping local children.

&uot;This program has helped so many children and its helped parents too,&uot; Jackson said. &uot;That dream is not going to die. That dream is too important.&uot;