VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK: Monica Hicks enjoys helping the community 

Published 4:00 am Monday, May 30, 2022

This week’s Vicksburg Post Volunteer of the Week is Monica Hicks, who helped with the Flower Project, a charity project through the Warren County Bar Association where volunteers helped with landscaping and repairs of the playground area at the Warren County Children’s Shelter.

Donations from Home Depot for supplies and activity kits, along with monetary donations from the Warren County Bar Association and several attorneys helped make this project a success. Hicks is a 44-year-old Vicksburg native with three children: Ryan, Alaina and Analese, as well as one grandson, Dawsen.

She is the daughter of Frank and Lidelle Ditto and is a multi-department supervisor with the Vicksburg Home Depot. 

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“I have always enjoyed helping my hometown and its residents in any way possible,” Hicks said. 

How did you hear about the Flower Project?

Tracie Herring, a member of the Warren County Bar Association, as well as a personal acquaintance of mine, approached me several weeks ago about Home Depot collaborating with the Bar Association to rejuvenate the flower beds and playground for the children’s shelter. 

How long have you been volunteering?

I have been volunteering since I was an Environmental Club member in high school in 1994. I have always enjoyed giving back. I moved to Ridgeland for several years and am grateful to not only be back here volunteering but also to work for a company like Home Depot, whose core values center around giving back to the community.

What is your favorite memory while volunteering?

I have so many great memories from volunteering, but the ones that stand out the most always center around the children in this community. Around 2000, I was lucky enough to work with Rainbow Farms and their riding program (for disabled persons), and during that time I experienced children and adults with all different disabilities heal and enjoy riding. To be a part of that kind of pure joy is almost addictive; it changes your outlook on life. These people have faced challenges most can’t comprehend and still found the purest happiness I had ever seen in simply participating in a riding event. That really puts life into perspective. We are all blessed beyond what we feel and those children truly brought that realization home to me at an early age.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?

To anyone who is thinking about volunteering, I would say do it! There are so many people and so many organizations that need our help to make a difference or to just get by. When you are able to step out of yourself and put service to others first, your life begins to change for the better just by putting others’ needs above your own. So if you’re on the fence about it, I say try it. It can only improve your life and the lives of whomever you choose to help.

What were your tasks while volunteering for the Flower Project?

With this particular project, I collaborated with (Herring) to estimate materials and labor needed for the playground and flower bed renewal as well as presented the project to Home Depot for approval and donations. She and I jointly laid out projects prior to the project date and arranged volunteers. Then we all got to work redoing flower beds and making new ones! 

What have you learned from volunteering with the Flower Project?

During the flower project, I saw a side of our community that doesn’t get enough attention, and that’s the beautiful spirit of our residents coming together both corporate and private to improve life for children who are in most likely the scariest times of their lives. I believe Vicksburg has a huge heart for this type of thing but we all get lost in the negative so much that we lose sight of the positive. So while doing this project I was blessed to see the heart of our hometown.

Any additional comments?

I believe that in a world full of questions and uncertainty right now, getting back to serving others and sharing our stories as well as our time and love with each other will surely make a difference in how we deal with the difficult times we are living in. Also, I just can not wait to be a part of another community project

If there is a volunteer who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to volunteer@vicksburgpost.com.