Inspired by the sacrifices made by American soldiers, members of The University of Southern Mississippi Custodial Services staff recently collected non-perishable food items, drinks, bottled water and paperback books to send to troops serving overseas.
Led by custodial staff foreman Patricia McFarland, the donation drive included contributions from members of the Physical Plant staff as well as Aramark, which provided 10 cases of bottled water, and other university employees from across the Hattiesburg campus. Physical Plant vendors Anthony Jordan and Russell Ruffin also contributed to the cause.
The weeklong collection amounted to “a truckload” McFarland said. “Our staff here at the Physical Plant and others on campus really came through for us with this effort, and we also appreciate Aramark and Anthony and Russell for their generosity,” she said.
“We can’t forget about our soldiers. How can you not want to help them when they are putting their lives on the line?”
The Southern Miss Custodial Staff frequently supports a variety of charitable efforts, said Superintendent of Custodial Services Mike Dozier. “Our staff is really good about coming through for those in their time of need, they give so freely,” he said. “When anyone needs help, they answer the call.”
Custodial staff member Mary Griffin praised McFarland for consistently leading efforts to help others, and was especially motivated to help with the drive for contributions for American soldiers. “I have a niece and a nephew serving in the military, so it means a lot to me to do this for our troops,” she said.
Southern Miss Physical Plant Director Dr. Chris Crenshaw concurred. “We’re grateful to the men and women who protect our country and keep us free,” he said. “Their sacrifice is so much more than any of us can imagine. The Physical Plant custodial staff, along with all of the donors to this effort, saw this as an opportunity to say ‘thank you.’”