USS Mississippi Sailors Clean-up Local Childcare Center after Hurricane Sandy
GROTON, Conn. - A handful of Sailors from USS Mississippi (SSN 782) and their families combined efforts on Nov. 1 in Groton, Conn., to help local citizens with cleanup efforts from Hurricane Sandy.
The Riverfront Children's Center had several trees uprooted and thrust out across the activities yard of the non-profit childcare facility and needed a helping hand to make the area safe for children. Development Coordinator Susan Bailey was grateful to have Sailors from the Virginia-class attack submarine offer their assistance.
"Being a non-profit we have limited funds, and if we had to take money out of our budget to clear these trees it would impact our other services," said Bailey. "These Sailors have really rescued us and we love seeing the Navy personnel in the community, it means so much to us."
Electronics Technician 3rd Class James S. Vincent, assigned to Mississippi, serves as the volunteer coordinator for the attack submarine and wanted to do his part in helping out those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
"Being single and having some free time, I like to help out families in need," said Vincent. "I know that the families here are struggling to make ends meet and the Center cannot really afford to spend money on these kinds of things. This gives them an opportunity to put more resources toward the kids."
Riverfront's primary mission is to provide quality, affordable childcare and foundational educational services for children of families who are working, in school or training including the underemployed and working poor.
Mississippi crew members participated in so many community relations and volunteer projects, during the construction phase of the submarine, that they won the 2011 Navy Community Service/Project Good Neighbor community service award. The crew wants to continue the volunteering efforts even while balancing an operational timeline.
"I will have two to three projects lined up each weekend for the boat to assist with," added Vincent. "I will also volunteer at a couple other places throughout the week. It is just nice to give back."