A select few Washburn students decided to forgo one of their weeks of freedom before the start of the spring semester in order to help victims of the hurricanes that ravaged the gulf coast.
Led by Nick Woolery, a sophomore at Washburn, these volunteers helped to gut houses, spray for mold and clean up debris.
“We didn’t know what to expect going down there. The damage was just a lot worse than we’d expected. It looked like the hurricane went through yesterday,” said Woolery.
Every house was damaged in some way, whether it be flood, mold or otherwise.
The group of 25 students was greeted with open arms when they arrived at Christus-Victor Lutheran Church in Ocean Springs, Miss. where they stayed for the duration of their trip. Through Christus-Victor they were provided with food, lodging and various other facilities.
“I think it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” said Justin Bravi, one of the volunteers who helped in the cleanup effort.
For those students who missed the opportunity to take the January trip, another service trip for spring break is being planned through the Learning in the Community office. The set date is March 17-25, and people will be traveling to New Orleans. This is being coordinated with the Relief Spark program, which was started Sept. 1, 2005 and is based out of San Diego, Calif. Relief Spark has worked with collecting and shipping donations and supplies to the disaster areas and will be providing food and housing for up to 1,500 volunteers.
“It’s worse than you see on the news. There’s a lot of cleanup work left to do. We need a lot of volunteers to get down there,” said Woolery.
The cost for the trip will be $50, which will cover food and travel. At the current time, there are an estimated 50 to 60 people from Washburn who are going.
“If you’re interested in going just do it, because it’s just a very rewarding experience. You won’t regret it,” said Bravi.
Students who would like more information on the project can go to www.wurelief.com, or contact Woolery at [email protected]
“Everyone that we worked with was just really thankful that we were able to come down there and help them out,” said Woolery.