Hattiesburg nonprofit RISE unveils new transport van

Hattiesburg nonprofit RISE unveils new transport van
The Leadership Pinebelt team in front of the new RISE van. (Source: WDAM)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Every year, teams of volunteers from Leadership Pinebelt within the Area Partnership Development devote their time to helping fundraise for local nonprofits. Mandy Conine, a 2019 volunteer and now board member, explains why her team chose to work with RISE.

“So we pick our project and we pick the organization that we want to support and we do the fundraisers. With Rise, we were really blown away by their mission and what they set out to do. Mostly, it was the fact that they targeted more so adults,” Conine said.

RISE is a Hattiesburg nonprofit that empowers adults to reach their goals through education and skills development classes. The program had a specific fundraiser goal that might be surprising. They hoped to get a passenger van to use for their students’ needs.

“Transportation really is one of the number one issues for most people that are wanting to transform their life. And so it’s so hard to rebuild yourself when you can’t get somewhere,” RISE executive director Catherine Jones said.

The Leadership Pinebelt team spent two years fundraising for a RISE van that will help get students to and from classes, job interviews, workshops and more. Jones says everyone with RISE is thankful for the sponsorships and donations. She is excited to continue to move students forward with the program.

“And so as we strengthen that person which strengthens the family, it will strengthen the community, and together we will rise. And so that van represents the whole community growing together,” Jones said.

RISE will have a graduation ceremony for the class of 2021 spring participants on April 22.

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