Mississippi College Family Helps Community Projects
Reading to children, helping churches, and working at food pantries, Mississippi College’s family engaged in community service projects in metro Jackson.
An estimated 260 MC students, faculty and staff carried the torch for community service on Tuesday as a key part of President Blake Thompson’s inauguration week.
Before leaving the Clinton campus to assist the Soul City Church in Jackson, MC junior Whitney Palmer was delighted to volunteer. “I think it is really cool. It gives us an opportunity to live out our faith and help people who need it,” said the 20-year-old psychology major from Louisville. “It represents MC well.”
A Baptist Student Union member at the Christian university, Whitney speaks for many who enjoyed giving a helping hand to folks in need in the capital city area.
MC freshmen Charis Sekanic of Madison and Breazlyn Dillon of Vicksburg were bound to take on various tasks at Canopy Children’s Solutions in Jackson.
Reaching out to children is part of Dr. Thompson’s emphasis on “Head, Heart & Hands” at Mississippi College to serve others. The words were printed on blue T-shirts going to all volunteers.
Dillon wants to make a difference in this world, especially with children. And it is so rewarding, said the interior design major, “that we can help in the smallest way.”
Serving as volunteers offers other benefits. “I enjoy meeting new people,” Charis Sekanic said before departing with classmates on the Quad for service duties. Taking part in community projects “makes me feel better.”
Mississippi College English professor Kristi Melancon had fun reading to Eastside and Northside elementary students as part of Dr. Thompson’s inauguration week.
Melancon visited with 375 Clinton public school students, teaching them about food, local pantries, healthy nutrition and sustainability.
Jana Thompson, President Thompson’s wife, also had a wonderful experience volunteering at a Jackson church.
The community service initiatives followed a delicious barbecue lunch on the Clinton campus. Barbecue is clearly one of Dr. Thompson’s favorite foods. Fried pork chops rank up there, too. So do cheeseburgers.
When joining friends for lunch, MC student Cassidy McKinney was asked what she likes about barbecue and Dr. Thompson. “Both are sweet!,” she said, without a moment’s hesitation.
Food provided the main course as President Thompson talked to the MC family packing Provine Chapel for a worship service Tuesday.
The MC leader spoke fondly of his fellowship times with students at Waffle House in Clinton after the MC Choctaws won their first two football games. He recalled the tasty barbecue meals at Mississippi restaurants. Dr. Thompson encouraged students to dine with people of another race or folks they may disagree with.
He also plugged his wife Jana’s buttermilk biscuits she cooks on her grandmother’s iron cast skillets. “They are delicious.”
Breaking bread with others, while spreading the love of Jesus, is something practiced quite often at Mississippi College. It occurs regularly at the university’s Phillips House, where the Thompsons live, to the school cafeteria and happens at nearby coffee shops.
Inauguration events for MC’s 20th president will continue Thursday March 28 with a 3 p.m. academic symposium at Swor Auditorium. An MC graduate and former trustee, Dr. Dan Jones of the University of Mississippi Medical Center will deliver the keynote speech on Christian higher education and will be joined by a panel of professors at Mississippi College. The public is invited.