Every March, students all over the United States take a week- long break from studying and class work. Some go home to visit friends and family during Spring Break and others go to warm places to swim and tan.
However, some William Woods University and Westminster College students plan to spend their week in a life-changing way.
Approximately 40 students from William Woods and Westminster will travel to New Orleans, La., and Pass Christian, Miss., to meet up with thousands of other college students from several student-based organizations across the country. Together they will serve Hurricane Katrina victims in need.
The trip is being organized by Jenna Griffith, a member of William Woods University’s Campus Crusade for Christ, but about half of the students participating are not members of the organization.
“The trip is open to anyone who wants to help,” Griffith said. “We’ll leave Saturday morning and return March 31.”
While in New Orleans, the students hope to bring physical, emotional and spiritual relief to the residents of the area, Griffith said. They will work with Tulane University to clean out professor’s homes and public schools nearby, help the University of New Orleans in planting new trees around campus, and Desire Street Ministries in the ninth ward in cleaning out the 800 homes that were flooded.
They will also help out the Habitat for Humanity in several locations. Other projects include working with the City of New Orleans and cleaning up neighborhoods, churches and schools, and also helping the coalition of 50 urban churches that has asked for help to being a new life to their neighborhoods and churches.
In Pass Christian, they will focus their efforts to see the rebirth of the town. The town has already cleaned out 500 homes and is working on rebuilding at least 200 of them. The students will work with skilled contractors to install electrical, plumbing and new sheetrock. They will also interact with residents and help with a camp for children living in the city.
Before each day begins, the students will go to an organizational meeting after breakfast to gain perspective and information about what they will be doing for that day. Later on, they will then go out and work in teams with a sack lunch in hand. After the day is over, they will return for dinner and enjoy a laid back evening with music, conversation, informal meetings and rest.
For more information, contact Jenna Griffith at (573) 592-4363, Jenna.Griffith@williamwoods.edu or cell phone, (918) 409-1311.