Cathedral alumnus celebrates 50-year reunion with $5,000 donation

Published 2:50 pm Thursday, February 29, 2024

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NATCHEZ — Marie H. Davis, Ph.D., formerly of Natchez, is retired and lives in Chesapeake, Virginia. But she still has a heart for her hometown.

Davis has sponsored many handouts of food and supplies for the community, but wanted to do more to benefit a specific population of residents who truly need it, she said.

Last week, she donated $2,500 to AJFC Community Action Agency and $2,500 to the Salvation Army.

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As a 1973 graduate of Cathedral, Davis it’s a special way of celebrating the 50th anniversary of her graduation.

“I want to give back to my hometown Natchez as a celebration of my 50 years reunion from Cathedral High School,” Davis said. “In October, while attending the 50th Class Reunion, God gave me a vision. … My vision was to give to those in need. When God gave me this vision, first the number 50 and then the number 5 came to mind.”

Five would mean a total of $5,000 Davis would give to help residents pay their rent and electrical bills after a cold winter. Davis specifically said she wants the funds to benefit residents of Cambridge and Maryland Heights, a low-income housing community, but not be limited to them.

“I don’t want this money to be sitting in a dormant account,” she said. “I want to give to others as the need arises.”

AJFC, a non-profit agency based in Natchez, is funded by both federal and state grants and community donations to combat poverty through a variety of programs, including utility assistance and employment, housing and educational services.

AJFC CEO Zadier Thomas expressed gratitude for Davis’ generosity.

“Her support will enable us to continue our mission of serving the community and providing essential services to those in need,” she said.

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Additionally, the Salvation Army’s Hope program launched in 2011 aims to provide targeted services to fight generational poverty with a holistic approach. This includes connections to job training, health services, childcare and education, housing options, legal services and more.

Director Brenda Kates said locals can learn more about these services by contacting the McComb office located at 4138 Highway 51 South at 601-600-2020.

Davis said she also wants this contribution to inspire others.

“I pray to God that after this, more donations come in so that this can continue,” she said.