BRINGING THE CRESCENT
CITY BACK TO LIFE - 4/3/06
Instead of spending their
spring break relaxing on a beach, a group of Trinity students headed south
to assist Hurricane Katrina survivors in New Orleans with recovery efforts,
March 24-April 1. Four vans packed with 39 students and two adult leaders
caravanned to the hardest hit areas, mostly which were in poorer communities.
Trinity's Service Committee
was instrumental in the efforts. Led by Lutheran Disaster Response, the
group gutted four houses and two duplexes throughout the week and also
took a little time to meet the people and experience the cuisine and culture
of the area.
"Overall, I would describe
the week as overwhelming," said Kelly Netjes '02, assistant director of
alumni relations, who accompanied the students on the trip. "The people
still living there were so welcoming and thankful that we were there, but
we felt like we made such a little dent in the recovery effort.
"The group was extremely
motivated and spent just as much time building each other up as they did
tearing down houses," Netjes added. "For most of us, this was an experience
of a lifetime."
The service trip was part
of a larger campaign by the Katrina Relief Task Force, a campus group committed
to long-term aid for the victims of the gulf coast hurricanes. The task
force was formed shortly after the hurricanes and has created partnerships
to focus fundraising efforts and identify ways to model Christian stewardship
when partnering with other Christian organizing.
One of those partnerships,
with Ozinga Bros., Inc., sent a 48-ft. trailer filled with food, water,
toiletries, school supplies, paper products, kitchen goods, furniture,
and tools to the Brentwood Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, in fall. In
addition, the Trinity community has continued fundraising efforts, which
to date exceed $3,600.
Other collaborations included
working with the Christian Community Heath Center and Public Action to
Deliver Shelter in Tinley Park, Sweet Holy Spirit Church in Chicago, and
Bright Hope International, who formed a partnership with a church in Covington,
Louisiana. In addition, Vice President of Development Larryl Humme, Associate
Professor of Nursing Dr. Laurel Quinn, and Nathan Vis '07 worked with the
mayor of Palos Heights to join resources when possible.