Two octogenarian volunteers have spent 8,000 hours helping others in Mesquite

Much of the success of the Sharing Life Community Outreach in Mesquite can be traced to the figure eight.

Two octogenarians -- Sammie Coats, 88, and Dorothy Compton, 83 -- have logged more than 8,000 volunteer hours together for the organization.

They are such a force that it probably feels as if they work eight days a week.

"They work five to seven days a week every single week, and they are the heart and soul of our organization," said Teresa Jackson, Sharing Life's executive director.

The two volunteers do everything from accepting donations to stuffing bags and helping people with their clothing choices.

Sharing Life Community Outreach -- one of this year's Dallas Morning News Charities -- offers an array of assistance, including food, clothing, school supplies, rent and utility assistance, literacy classes and job training skills to families in need in 11 ZIP codes in southeast Dallas County.

"They are always there; they are the most dependable backbone volunteers that I have," Jackson said. "They have given their lives over to volunteerism rather than just sit at home and wither away in their retirement years."

Jackson added: "We could not survive if we didn't have those two ladies."

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