By STEVEN THOMAS
The Neshoba Democrat
As part of a class project, Shelby Griffin, a senior at MSU-Meridian, is asking for donations to help the less fortunate.
Griffin, a Neshoba County native, is currently working towards her social worker degree and plans to graduate this coming May.
She has three children: Juan, 17; Juanesha, 17; and Jaylon, 14.
As part of her degree, she started an internship at East Mississippi State Hospital.
Part of the internship revolves around a project.
"During my internship at EMSH, it was brought to my attention that the chapel fund was in great need," Griffin said.
This fund is used to provide a variety of patient activities such as: parties, field trips, social activities, clothes and funerals for clients without families, she said.
She added that the activities help ease patients back into society.
Griffin will try out several methods of fundraising to help bring the church fund back up.
- Holding a yard sale every Saturday throughout April until she runs out of items to sell.
- Asking for donations from her church family at Jerusalem Temple.
- Asking for donations from the citizens of Neshoba County
Griffin said her goal is to raise $1,000 but she hopes to go beyond that.
"It is my hope that the citizens of Neshoba and Lauderdale County will find it in their hearts to provide charitable donations to this fund," she said
In addition to monetary donations, Griffin is asking for donation of Bibles and any other spiritual material.
"In advance, I would like to say God bless you and thank you for your donations," she said.
This drive to help others is one that Griffin prides herself on.
She recalled one 19-year-old boy at the hospital who didn't have any money in his account and was therefore unable to go anywhere.
"I couldn't sleep that night and the next day I found out that his parents had dropped him off and never came back."
Griffin added that ever since she decided to get her degree she wanted to work with the mentally ill.
"It's just something I wanted to do," she said. "It's in the black community and it interests me.
"I want to cater to those who can't speak for themselves," she said. "I see them around and I help them."
Griffin, a 1991 graduate of Neshoba Central, previously spent 13-and-a-half years working as a clerk for food services at Neshoba Central.
Then in 2010 she decided to get her degree. She graduated from East Central Community College in 2012.
She recalled how the last four years haven't been easy.
I was unemployed and didn't have gas money to get where I needed to go, she said.
"I believe God has brought me this far and will continue to provide," she said, noting that through the kindness of friends and family she was able to attend all her classes.
After graduation, Griffin hopes to find a job at the East Mississippi State Hospital as a social worker.
"Social work is low paying but I feel like I can make a difference," she said. "I want to stand with the last, the least and the lost.
"If I can make a difference then I have accomplished what God put me here for."
For monetary donations, please send checks payable to EMSH-chapel fund, Geri Doggett 4128 West Station Meridian, MS 39304.
In the memo please write Project, so Griffin will know how much money was collected for her project.
MSU student using project to seek donations for needy
By STEVEN THOMAS