Vidalia’s Gardner happy to volunteer ‘in the background’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 12, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – Recently Floyd W. Gardner received a call from a woman who needed help opening an old safe. After fiddling with the lock for a while, &uot;I said, ‘Well, it looks like we’re going to be getting a new safe,’&uot; Gardner said. He then spent three hours breaking the safe open.

Although he admits the job was unusual, the Vidalia resident is always doing odd jobs for many of the neighbors in his community.

His efforts earned him the honor of being chosen an Unsung Hero in this year’s Profile edition of The Democrat. It was an honor the self-professed behind-the-scenes person would have never sought for himself.

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&uot;I’m just as happy being in the background and seeing things go properly,&uot; Gardner said.

Gardner said he hopes people will see Jesus Christ in his actions, and he is thankful to have the ability to serve others. &uot;If you apply yourself and use the talents that God gives you, He will provide you with ample opportunities to use them,&uot; Gardner said.

His usual volunteer activities include everything from changing light bulbs, trimming hedges and fixing faucets. Some projects seem to come in cycles, he said with a laugh. He remembers one week when he fixed several phones within a few days.

&uot;This must be phone week or something,&uot; Gardner said at the time.

Gardner picked up his mechanical and electrical skills just from experience and watching his father, the late Floyd K. Gardner.

&uot;I’m the type of person if I can go and watch someone do (something) one time then I can do it,&uot; Gardner said.

Some of his other volunteer activities include assisting with the sound system for the Natchez Little Theatre, running the lights for the Miss Vidalia Pageant and assisting with last year’s Angels on the Bluff program at the Natchez City Cemetery.

Gardner is the son of the Madeline Gardner and the late Floyd K. Gardner. He is married to Susan Gardner and has a 14-year-old daughter, Ariel.