BY JIM MEKASH
Director of Physical Plant
Volunteers have come to Tupelo Children’s Mansion since the beginning and have provided tremendous assistance in a multitude of ways. On Friday, two ladies from Florida arrived to assist in the residential department. In a couple of weeks, a group of men will be coming to assist TCM in the completion of a major project which was begun last year. They will not only provide physical labor but will bring equipment, supplies and financial contributions for the project. Volunteer people and groups have helped us immensely.
During the past seven years, Cliff and Gayla Royer of DeQuincy, LA have logged the most volunteer time of anyone. In addition to being quality supporters of the mansion, they are skilled and able to work as a team in the physical improvement of the campus. During the past 10-day stay they were able to essentially complete the remodeling of Townhouse boy’s residence hall, Cole-Morgan boy’s residence hall, painting of Hansford Hall, doing necessary roof repairs on two building roofs, and trimming out at the Thrift Store. Their visits, typically two or three times per year, have transformed the campus greatly. It is great to be able to point them in the direction and say “go to it” and know that all will be done thoroughly and with the greatest of quality.
The Royers love to host a fish fry when they come to the Mansion. Last week, they brought a huge catch of catfish from Louisiana and prepared a fabulous meal for all of the staff and residents. They really know how to do it!
There is one additional trait that is usually seen by the volunteers.They not only come to help with projects but also bring an “open heart” and love for the children.