News Release

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. 

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