Minnesota volunteers to undertake projects in Biloxi, other cities

The Biloxi Visitors Center and several other city sites will be getting dressed-up flower beds next week thanks to a volunteer effort that is expected to see more than 500 volunteers from 30 churches in Minnesota.

It’s part of a two-day Hands On Mississippi-coordinated volunteer effort that will serve six cities in Harrison and Jackson counties, include more than 20 unique projects, and see more than 8,000 hours of direct volunteer service.

On Monday and Tuesday, July 16 and 17, Hands On Mississippi, the local non-profit volunteer center, will be coordinating the efforts of the 500 volunteers, who are
teens and adults from the North Minnesota Synod or NMS for short. The group gathers every three years to travel the United Sates in search of meaningful outreach projects and this year the Mississippi Gulf Coast was lucky enough to be chosen.

“I was elated when I received the call,” said Holly J. Gibbs, executive director of Hands On Mississippi. “We are very grateful to this group for choosing the Mississippi Gulf Coast area and this is a wonderful opportunity we have been given to address the needs of the community.”

In Biloxi, the group will be sprucing up flower beds at the Visitors Center, the Biloxi Public Library and Civic Center, at the green space aross from City Hall, and at the Town Green. The group also will also be painting over graffiti at public and private locations throughout the city.

“The landscaping work is going to go a long way in helping to spruce up our high-profile city properties,” said Sherry Bell of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. “Our warranty just ended on the year-old civic and visitors centers, so the timing really works out.”

The city plans to soon hire someone to handle landscaping around the Visitors Center.

Besides Biloxi, the Minnesota volunteers will help several local non-profits, including The Pascagoula River Audubon Society, Cares Network, RSVP of Harrison County, Mississippi Renaissance Garden Foundation, Land Trust, Youth for
Christ and several other organizations.

The group will focus on elderly outreach, community development and enrichment, waterways and green space management, and several other areas of need.

To wrap up the project, the group will enjoy a southern style dinner and
beach bash at the Biloxi Visitors Center on Highway 90, courtesy of the City of Biloxi.

Hands On Mississippi’s mission is to inspire, equip, and mobilize people to address critical needs of the Mississippi community through volunteerism. Since its inception in 2007, the organization has managed more than 30,000 volunteers who have performed more 1.3 million hours of community outreach hours, valued at $700,000 of volunteer service on the Gulf Coast.

To donate to this program or future outreach projects, contact Hands On Mississippi at
(228) 354-9660 or hgibbs@handsonmississippi.org

Pictures of progress, Part I

Anyone who’s driven anywhere in Biloxi knows that there are dozens of public works underway throughout the city.

There’s massive infrastructure work in a growing number of neighborhoods. Now that the waterfront promenade is essentially complete at Popp’s Ferry, work is underway to improve the approaches to the bridge leading to it. And just around the corner, a new roof is expected to be completed in several weeks at the Margaret Sherry library, and the entrance to the A.J. Holloway Sports Complex is entering its final stretch of construction.

To see dozen of photos captured today at these projects, click here.

Dozens more — from other improvement projects — are coming your way in a Bmail Friday.