HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (September 22, 2021) While residents of surrounding communities have been busy collecting donations to be carried to the Greater New Orleans area following Hurricane Ida, Forrest General’s Spirit Girls have been collecting things also. This newest class of girls has been collecting snacks, personal hygiene items and even pet treats for Louisiana residents who evacuated to Hattiesburg and are living in hotels indefinitely.
“Many of these families lost everything they own,” said Kathy Walker, Spirit of Women coordinator, who has been working with the girls on the collections. “The goody bags contain a variety of items that can be helpful when living in a hotel room.”
The Spirit Girls decorated their goody bags with artwork and positive, upbeat sayings.
Syrianna Jones, a student at Stringer Attendance Center, brought six orange gift bags which she had decorated with positive quotes and filled with snacks such as peanut butter crackers, Special K bars, Mott’s gummies and Rice Krispie Treats.
“As a Spirit Girl, it is extremely important to be able to give to Louisiana residents during their time of need,” she said.
Among the people treats are treats – dog bones and toys — for their four-legged friends, both dogs and cats.
“When I delivered 25 bags filled with snacks to Hotel Indigo, the manager cried,” said Walker. “They have 20 Louisiana families who have basically lost everything. And there are lots of dogs and cats also at The Indigo!”
Walker said so far the Spirit Girls have donated enough snacks for more than 100 bags.
Spirit Girls participate in a wide range of activities and community service projects for organizations such as The Association for the Rights of Citizens with Disabilities (The ARC), DREAM of Hattiesburg, Hattiesburg Zoo, and The Children’s Center for Communication and Development. Spirit Girls also participate in Spirit of Women events.
The young ladies selected are in grades 7 through 12 and reside in Forrest General’s 19-county service area which includes the following counties: Covington, Forrest, George, Greene, Hancock, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion, Pearl River, Perry, Pike, Simpson, Smith, Stone, Wayne and Walthall.
The program offers an opportunity for young ladies to learn the importance of taking action for their health and giving back to the community. The hours of community service contributed through various events provide a chance to make lasting contributions to their community as well as lasting friendships.
To keep up with the Forrest General Hospital Spirit Girls and their community service, visit their Facebook page.