Help the community by volunteering

Published 7:00 am Friday, April 20, 2018

Taking the time to volunteer within Pearl River County is beneficial for people of all ages.

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service’s website, volunteering helps people feel like they’ve had an impact in their community, improves problem solving and raises levels of personal pride and satisfaction – all while giving people a chance to socialize. Volunteering also gives people a chance to be active outdoors – leading to a lower mortality rate and lower rates of depression, the website states.

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For those looking for volunteer opportunities, several local groups and agencies are always looking for help.

Pearl River County SPCA Volunteer Manager Cindy McDonald said the local shelter is always in need of help to care for the shelter’s animals. She said volunteer efforts can include socializing the dogs and puppies, taking them for walks, or transporting them to the veterinarian. McDonald said that kitten season is coming up, so they need people to foster mother cats while they raise their babies. For those who want to help without being directly involved with the animals, McDonald said the shelter also needs help with office work, such as stuffing goody bags given to those adopting pets. The SPCA is currently looking for volunteers to help with its wellness clinic this Saturday at Jack Read Park. To get involved, simply call the shelter at 601-798-8000.

For people who want to volunteer outdoors in a more natural setting, the Crosby Arboretum is on the lookout for volunteers.

The Arboretum states on its website that volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks, indoor and outdoor. Outdoor tasks include power-washing, weeding, painting, assisting with tours, and working the ticket booth. Indoor tasks include scrapbooking, answering phones and making fish food bags among other things. To volunteer, an application and consent form can be filled out online and emailed to Arboretum Director Pat Drackett at

Picayune Main Street Director, Reba Beebe said she has volunteer and internship opportunities available to those interested.

“We can always use volunteers,” Beebe said.

Picayune Main Street holds several events annually, such as the Picayune Street Festival, the Blues and Heritage Festival and Shop by Candlelight. Beebe said volunteers are always needed to set up tents and tables and to run booths.

Besides helping at festivals, Beebe said help is occasionally needed with projects around the city. For example, Beebe said the benches in downtown will need to be repainted soon.

To volunteer with Picayune Main Street, call the office at 601-799-3070 or visit the office located in Picayune’s Intermodal and Tourism Center located on Highway 11.

At Bedford Care Center in Picayune, volunteers can improve the quality of life for its residents. Activity director Robin Veerkamp said volunteers can help with Bingo, games, parties, music events, socials and various other activities. She said volunteers can even do something as simple as spend time with residents.

Veerkamp said if anyone has a special talent, she would be more than happy to consider the possibility of them performing for the residents.

To volunteer at Bedford, Veerkamp said a person would need to fill out a form on site and undergo a short interview to determine how their skills could be put to use.

Each organization said that the volunteer opportunities can be used to meet volunteer requirements for school and community service hours.