Katrina Relief - Mississippi - Spring Break 2006

Mississippi: Hurricane Katrina Relief

With Dr. LaRow and the Siena/AMC Program's support, a group of students were able to organize an alternative Spring Break trip to Biloxi, Mississippi to help with Hurricane Katrina Relief. Students from all 4 years of the program spent one week working on various projects with the Church of Christ in Biloxi.

There is a great deal of destruction in the Biloxi area, especially along the coast where all the casinos, hotels, and apartments have been destroyed. The devastation was unbelievable and we heard many first hand accounts of how the Hurricane affected people's lives.

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On our first day on the job, Tony, our host and contact with the Church of Christ, explained our project to our group (above). We spent two days clearing out all the debris, appliances and drywall in this house (below) that had been damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

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Our next project involved clearing out all the contents of a US Naval Officer's house, that had not been touched since the Hurricane (below). In one day, with the help of some students from Indiana University, we were able to strip the interior of this house to the bare frame, preparing it to be rewired and rebuilt for future use.

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As third project, we worked on included clearing out the parsonage of a local Catholic Church. The Freshmen of our group took care of this debris cleanup on their own.

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As a final project, we had the opportunity to talk with some of the local folks that had weathered Hurricane Katrina and are currently living in FEMA trailers (below). We surveyed the elderly living in the community about everyday supplies and aid  they may need, such as transportation to the grocery store or doctor, aspirin, toilet paper, water, etc.

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Throughout our trip in Mississippi, we experienced true Southern Hospitality and of course, Southern cooking, thanks to Miss Georgia. On our last day in Biloxi, Tony and his family and Miss Georgia made us Shrimp Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Dr. and Mrs. Fernandez brought us Crawfish! The trip was a wonderful experience and a great success, and we are all incredibly thankful for the opportunity.