HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Mississippi Power employees and their families spent Monday morning painting the Lighthouse Rescue Mission in Hattiesburg to honor Martin Luther King Jr.
Lighthouse Rescue Mission opened in Hattiesburg 11 years ago and is a transitional recovery program for mothers and their children. Because the mission is completely donations-based, founder and director Kenneth Thronson said volunteers are essential to its success.
"We're really excited to have Mississippi Power out (Monday)," Thronson said. "We work and operate strictly off of donations. We do not charge our families anything for being here, so it's really important that the community is involved here and helps us with projects like this."
Michael Harvey, Mississippi Power Pine Belt division manager, said it is important for employees to serve the communities where they provide power.
"Today's about giving back," Harvey said. "Our employees don't see this as a day off. They see it as an opportunity to go serve. Mississippi Power has served this community for over 90 years, and part of our mission is to provide reliable service to our customers. But it's also to give back and serve in the communities."
Employees also brought spouses and children to help paint Monday. Harvey said Mississippi Power's Community Connection program has done these kinds of service projects for more than 10 years, and employees decide on the projects and coordinate the logistics to complete them.
"Our work is seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and so sometimes it's difficult to get out," Harvey said. "But our employees are very intentional about getting out (to) these projects and taking time and giving their own time to give back."
Thronson said, "We have so little time off that it's really exciting to see people come on a day off and give back."
Harvey said the Pine Belt division split into two teams in both Hattiesburg and Laurel giving back, and the company had volunteers working on service projects from the coast to to Meridian.