Cleovis and Arwilda Whiteside of White Hall were recently honored for more than five decades of community service in the Pine Bluff area and plan to continue helping others.
KARK Channel 4 recently recognized the Whitesides with a Pay It 4Ward award along with $250. While thankful, the couple says they can’t keep the money and will use it to treat 40 children in a special event at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at McDonald’s, 2819 S. Olive St.
They are inviting Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington, White Hall Mayor Noel Foster, Jefferson County Judge Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV, the media as well as others to participate in the celebration.
“My husband and I could not use it ($250) for ourselves. We did not earn it alone. It was all of us,” Arwilda Whiteside said in a recent letter.
Although senior citizens themselves, the couple spends much of their time volunteering for many projects including helping youth and visiting with elderly residents of area nursing homes.
“It was really a joy for us to bring joy and love to those patients in the nursing homes when there is so much neglect,” Arwilda Whiteside said, adding that her children and grandchildren were raised up visiting nursing homes.
“There are so many more who volunteer. More than we do,” she said, explaining that they want to honor others for their good works.
The Whitesides are going to take area children out to eat at the restaurant and offer thanks to God, McDonalds and Channel 4 while honoring all the other volunteers. Once a year, she’d like to have a volunteer day.