We are a giving community

Published 6:19 pm Monday, September 25, 2017

From participating in fundraising events to physical hands on help, Vicksburg has no shortage of locals giving back to the community.

Upwards of 15 employees from the Coastal Hydraulics Lab at ERDC recently renovated a house on Bowmar Avenue for co-worker Kymmeria Chambers, who suffered a cerebral stroke earlier this year.

Renovations on the home have included widening doors and building a ramp to make the home handicap accessible.

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Freddie Thompson, who is Chamber’s aunt, is providing the home for her niece and said the outpouring of help to renovate the house has been overwhelming.

“These are angels helping out here,” Thompson said.

In addition to volunteers helping with the construction, more than $3,800 has also been raised to defray the cost of the building materials and purchase a refrigerator and television for Chambers.

On Saturday, nearly 400 runners participated in the third annual United Way of West Central Mississippi’s True Color Run. The event kicked off the group’s annual fundraising campaign.

Following the race, there was a block party that featured periodic color blasts giving participants and bystanders a chance to interact with the United Way’s partner agencies. There was also a one-mile fun run for children.

“To me what is really cool is there are personal triumphs that happen here,” Michelle Connelly, the executive director of the United Way, said. “There are people that are not runners and are not walkers that want to be a part of this. To see their faces light up when they cross the finish line because they accomplished something that makes them feel good and also gives back to the community, you just can’t beat that.”

More positives in Vicksburg:

• A community-wide effort to improve the health and wellbeing of residents has paid off for Vicksburg. It was announced Tuesday that Vicksburg is just one of eight cities to be chosen among 200 communities as a Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health winner. The award includes a $25,000 cash prize and membership in a network of 35 other prize-winning communities that have demonstrated “unwavering efforts to ensure all residents have the opportunity to live healthier lives.”

• Vicksburg based entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiast Richard and Juli Rhett will be featured on the season premiere of ABC’s Shark Tank on Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. three months after pitching their product, the Nubé hammock shelter. The couple hopes to secure an investor for their company Sierra Madre Research and their innovative camping gear.