• 70°

CGI, community reach out to Gulf Coast

While some may have been spending their Saturday afternoons lounging by a swimming pool, 44 Troy residents pooled together for a different cause.

Through a CGI-sponsored event, community leaders and business members came together to be a part of a community-wide effort to give back to Pike County’s Gulf Coast neighbors.

“We wanted to grow our partnership with our friends and neighbors in Troy, so this was an opportunity for our company to sponsor this and allow an opportunity for us to take part in helping our Gulf Coast neighbors, as well,” said local CGI Director George Tarbox.

The group, with representatives of Troy University, the City of Troy, the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, the Pike County Economic Development Corporation and Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union, took a community trip to the Bay Area Food Banks in Bayou La Batre and Coden Saturday.

The trip was the first of its kind for the new Troy corporation, and it was also a first for many of the participants, who gave up their Saturday to help pass out food to oil spill victims at the food banks.

“This is the first time I’ve seen anything like this. Usually a company stays within itself, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen it done community wide, rather than one group (volunteering),” said Brian Webb, an employee for the Troy University library.

Webb had wanted to volunteer on the Gulf Coast for some time, he said. CGI offered him that opportunity this weekend.

“It’s been interesting. You deal with the frustration of watching this on TV,” he said. “I figured this was a way to help.”

Webb wasn’t the only one who said this trip gave an opportunity to fulfill that desire to help.

“I’ve been trying to get with the oil spill from day one,” said Robert Matthews, city employee.

“Everybody was really thankful. It takes your mind off of your own problems when you get to see people really in need.”

For those volunteers who attended the trip, they witnessed about 450 families in need of food and distributed around 20,000 pounds of food. CGI also presented at $13,600 check to the Bay Area Food Bank Saturday.

“We are very fortunate in Troy to have the support of the city, the economic development corporation, Troy University and the chamber, so this was a chance we could work together with helping our coast,” Tarbox said.