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How the Collierville Police Department's Citizens Volunteer Program helps the community

“It’s the joy of serving. It’s the joy of seeing someone’s life better,” said Collierville Food Pantry Director Joyce Sogga.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One thing about the Mid-South is when there is a problem or a need, the community jumps to find a solution.

Volunteers in Collierville are not only chipping in to help the local police department but also making sure no resident goes hungry.

Sometimes, what we do every day can be hard to explain even something as simple as giving.

We asked a member of the Collierville Police Department’s Special Citizens Volunteer Program, William Arnold, what giving means to him.

“Well, that’s a tough question. The best way I can describe that is I’ve got a lot of stuff in my life. It’s stuff that’s more of a burden than it is a pleasure. I get more joy out of giving the stuff away than I do buying stuff for myself,” said Arnold, a retired business owner.

In this case, stuff equals time.

“I sat around the house for a little while and decided this was not going to work,” said Arnold.

He and other volunteers started donating their time to the Special Citizens Volunteer Program.  

“It was basically put together so that the citizens could volunteer and help the police department in their non-law enforcement activities,” said Robert Speroff, Special Citizen Volunteer Program Captain.

They assist police with duties such as directing traffic, doing vacation checks, and coordinating neighborhood watch groups.

Credit: SCVP

On Thursdays, the group spends their time with the Collierville Food Pantry.

“It’s a chance to talk to the people. I enjoy visiting them and going around to the different houses, seeing how they’re doing, what kind of problems they have,” said Arnold.

“It’s a great feeling to not only help the community, but help the individuals. Right now, in these times, there’s so many people who have needs. It feels great to be able to help and support them really any way we can,” said Speroff.

For those who run the pantry, like Karen Pirocchi and Joyce Sogga, the extra help with collection and deliveries is always appreciated.

“The citizen’s volunteer department is wonderful. They’ve been a force here,” said Pirocchi, Collierville Food Pantry Board Member.

“When the country is doing well, our donations drop off. When the country is not doing so well, our donations go up with the need. It’s just … I say it’s all God’s work. He provides when he sees the need,” said Sogga, Collierville Food Pantry Director.

It's a need that in turn, is fulfilling.

“It’s the joy of serving. It’s the joy of seeing someone’s life better,” said Sogga.

“I enjoy picking up the food and delivering to the people who can’t come get it, talking to them, and having a chance to connect with the people out here in the community,” said Arnold. “Retirement is great!”

The desire to give is great, too.

The Collierville Police Department will host its own food drive at 151 Walnut St. on March 31, April 7 and 21 and May 5 from 1-5 p.m. For additional information, click here.

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