JACKSON, Miss. – Jackson State University alumnus Harold Hart received the Pat Yarber Volunteer of the Year award through the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership (GJCP) for his contributions to the city of Jackson. The GJCP is a non-profit organization dedicated to the city’s economic and communal growth.
“I think that this award, at this point, is one of the greatest achievements in my life. It measures how my actions affected and benefited others along with an entire metropolitan area,” said Hart.
In early March, the GJCP held its annual meeting, where it recognized businesses and business leaders for their commitment to bettering the community. Several awards were given, including Hart’s for his continuous service to the city. The Jackson native said he plans to do more with time.
Hart graduated from JSU with a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics in 2000. In 2008, he opened a custom picture framing company, Elim’s Art Concept, Inc., in Jackson. In 2015, Hart said he felt discontented only working at the framing company and wanted to do much more for his community.
“I’ll be honest with you. I built a lot of frames for a living. After a while, that stuff gets boring. You want to go to a higher calling, right? You can only make so much money. You can only eat so many steaks,” he said. “Then you got to ask yourself, what are you doing? Where are you making a difference? So, me volunteering here is my way of adding value to my life.”
Hart then joined the GJCP and served as an ambassador spearheading many volunteering efforts. He was one of many responsible for changing the direction of the organization. Hart partnered with Jackson Public Schools to provide maintenance to Key Elementary School and worked with the local Boys and Girls Club to assist children in making the right decisions.
While any form of volunteering is a favorite of Hart’s, his specific interest is assisting homeless people. At the beginning of his ambassador tenure, he worked with Shower Power, a project that transitions people from the street to a home. He continues that work today.
“I think that is one of the noblest ways to help out. To give them clothes and food so that they can live like human beings. We’re human beings down here. We can start treating each other like human beings,” Hart said.
The future for Hart contains more charitable work. He expressed that he desires to help as many people as possible and to do everything in his power to aid in transforming the city.