Volunteer donations add up
GIVING THANKS Work crews, politicians and business leaders join in brief prayer Saturday before eating lunch at the new industrial site. Local businesses donated the food. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Sept. 9, 2001
When all was done, volunteers used roughly $3.5 million in equipment on Saturday for an estimated $150,000 job that cost Lauderdale County nothing.
The result: The county's new industrial site is a step closer to opening.
The volunteer effort was unlike anything business leaders and politicians have seen, they said, with nearly 100 local businesses donating services, time, food and money.
Businessman Jimmy Alexander, who spearheaded the cleanup of the new Highway 11/80 East industrial park, said construction companies began mobilizing heavy machinery Thursday. He and others estimate the cost of total donations over the two-day job Friday and Saturday could reach $150,000.
Construction crews not only donated equipment, he said, but they also paid for the manpower and mostly overtime wages to finish the project. The estimated cost of donations does not include money that could have been gained working elsewhere on a profitable job site, he said.
Everyone in town seemed to be in on the project. Restaurants donated food to feed the crews, and Rush Workforce Wellness came on site to lend a hand for bee stings and other minor injuries.
Lauderdale County Road Foreman Charlie Mathis said his county crews were paid for their effort, but they would have worked for free had they been asked.
Mathis said he heard no one complaining, only a sense of camaraderie and pride about the project.
U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss., stopped by the site for lunch. He said the effort was a "great day for the community, volunteers coming together to prepare a place that will create jobs and economic opportunity for the entire region."
Pickering also commended local businessmen and politicians, calling them a "great example of leadership."
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for the Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know?
The following business and individuals donated their time, talent, money and manpower to clean up Lauderdale County's new industrial park.
First Mississippi Federal Credit Union.
A &B Communications.
A &B Electric Co. Inc.
Alliance Health Center.
Barber &Sons Plumbing.
Charles Clearman Tree Service.
Citizens Bank of Philadelphia.
City of Meridian.
D &E Construction.
East Mississippi Electric Power Association.
Great Southern National Bank.
Hardee's, Highway 39 North.
J &J Construction.
J &M Construction.
Massey Super Mart Auto Sales.
Meridian Coca-Cola Bottling Co.
Meridian Community College.
Meridian Mutual Federal Credit Union.
MMC Materials Inc.
Mississippi Power Co.
Mississippi Valley Gas Co.
Mosby Packing Co.
Newell Paper Co.
Newton County Bank.
Pepsi/Brown Bottling Co.
Pretty Presentations Catering.
Ralph Morgan Logging Co.
Rea, Shaw, Giffin &Stuart.
Rick Justice Pontiac Buick GMC Chrysler Plymouth Jeep Honda.
Rush Foundation Hospital.
Russell Community Development Club.
Rusty's Tree Service.
Southern Cast Products.
Specialty Roll Products.
The Meridian Star.
Trustmark National Bank.
Union Planters Bank.
Winn Dixie, Highway 39 North.
Winn Dixie, Highway 45 North.