05:16 PM

We want to make people not just “feel alive – but feel like a human being”

This Mississippi hero helps people at shelter get a fresh, clean start

Longtime Salvation Army volunteer Ted Hearn knew people experiencing homelessness in Gulfport, Mississippi, needed shelter – and he wanted to give them more.

“We wanted to offer the hygiene items and all the things that it takes to make a person not just be alive, but to feel like a human being,” says the 86-year-old Hearn, a Mississippi native and former brigadier general in the National Guard.

In 2011 Hearn helped implement the Fresh and Clean program, giving clients at the Salvation Army Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Gulfport Outreach center a place to shower and have their clothes laundered. With the help of more than a dozen volunteers, the Fresh and Clean program operates three days a week, and about 20 people use the facilities each of those days.

The Salvation Army of the Gulf Coast helps clients obtain identification cards, fill medical prescriptions and arrange transportation.

“There are a lot of basic things that these folks are needing,” Hearn says. “There are a lot of people out there who want to work and improve their lives, they just need a little help.

“I have been greatly blessed in my life, and I felt compelled to share that same grace with others,” Hearn says.

Whataburger is proud to support Hometown Hero Ted Hearn and the Salvation Army of the Gulf Coast, and you can, too. From May 20 through June 10, donate just $1 at Whataburger restaurants in Gulfport, D’Iberville and Ocean Springs to receive a coupon for a free burger with the purchase of a medium fry and medium drink on your next visit.

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