PURVIS, Miss. (WJTV) – Four hundred students from Purvis Middle School spread throughout the Pine Belt area to get dirty and give back. It’s called the Purvis Service Day.
With buckets and shovels in hand, a couple dozen 6th graders rolled up their sleeves for a day of work. “I’m used to this kind of stuff because at my grandma’s house, we used to have horses and I’d help out a lot,” explained Ashlin Hopkins.
While any kid enjoys a break from the classroom, this is no field trip. Each year, the entire student body at Purvis Middle School descends upon the community for a day of service. This year, the group chose Worthy Stables.
Jessie Reeves, who is the founder of Worthy Stables, said, “We have programs for military veterans. We have programs for people who experience physical differences and cognitive differences. We have an awesome program for children in foster care, and really anybody who experiences life with challenges or differences.”
Donna Sumrall, who is a teacher at the school, explained students come away with a sense of accomplishment. “Being able to serve. And it makes them feel like they have purpose in life. And when you make kids feel like they have a purpose in life, then they tend to go in the right direction for a long, long time.”
Last year, students helped out by painting a fence. The founder said the few hours of work they do go a long way. “We’re an entirely volunteer staff, so things can pile up and get out of hand,” said Reeves. “So when they come, they bring all this energy.”
“It will make you feel great about yourself, so you’ll have a higher self-esteem,” said student Ta’Shaun Gray. “You won’t be as stressed out because you’ll be helping people. And you’ll feel great about yourself at the end of the day.”