Students to host food charity walk

Published 1:19 am Friday, November 4, 2011

NATCHEZ — Cathedral High School seniors Kandice Bailey and Cody Bradford took a class assignment to a new level — to the bluff and back — when they organized a charity walk with proceeds going to the Stewpot and Sunshine Children’s Shelter.

Bailey said the pair’s assignment was to create a community service project, and they came up with the walk because they knew funds were lacking at the two charities they chose.

The Vincent de Paul’s Walk for the Poor will allow residents to burn calories while helping to feed those with less consistent meals coming to their tables.

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“The (Stewpot) needs all the help they can get, especially around the holidays,” Bailey said.

Bailey said she has worked with the Sunshine Shelter as a member of the Cathedral Key Club and knows they could use funds for the facility to be able to house more people.

The walk will begin at 5 p.m. Nov. 7 from the Natchez bluff near the Grand Hotel and proceed up Main Street to Memorial Park at St. Mary Basilica and back down Franklin Street to the bluff. But walkers can come early at 4:30 p.m. with a white T-shirt, which Bailey, Bradford and friends will decorate.

Bailey admitted she first started volunteering because she needed service hours to graduate.

But once she got involved in the community, the service provided her with a new perspective that kept her going back for more.

“(Working with the poor) is healthy because it makes me realize that I used to always complain about what I don’t have and how unfair my life is,” she said. “But I look around (at the less fortunate) and feel everyone should be able to live some of the life that I’m lucky enough to have.”

Bailey said she got her first taste of her fresh perspective when she volunteered at the Special Olympics at Natchez High School. She said she noticed how happy the students her age with special needs were, and it made her reflect on how lucky she was to be living her life without those challenges.

“It’s important for children my age to help make the community a better place,” Bailey said. “I complain significantly less, and I know it makes my Mom happy.”

Bailey and Bradford hope to reach their goal of $500 to split between both nonprofits.

To donate, Cathedral High School can be reached at 601-442-2531. Donations will be accepted prior to and during to the walk.

Bailey said they chose to organize the walk so that even people her age, who cannot afford to donate, could participate and support the effort.

“Walks are fun and a way to get people out,” she said.