Monday March 6, 2006
One Mississippi group set out to Pass Christian and then to Gulfport, which is about a half hour from Long Beach. This group spent the day cutting down trees ruined by Katrina. After cutting down a huge tree in Pass Christian, they headed to Gulfport to do some more work.
While in Gulfport they helped out the Ross family, an elderly couple in desperate need of some help. Eric Mahany, the group leader who is a junior from Arkport, N.Y., sat with the rest of his crew after cutting down some trees to talk with Mrs. Ross.
Eric reported that Mrs. Ross told them she has never seen such kind-hearted people who would give up their spring break. She said it was amazing to have such caring people help out during time of need and crisis. Mr. Ross told the group some stories and taught them some lessons about ants and poisonous snakes.
“It was moving today talking to Mrs. Ross and learning how much she has been through,” Eric said. “Even though this hurricane was so devastating, she said it isn’t the worst thing she’s been through.” More striking than her stories was her spirit. “It’s just spectacular how she kept a smile on her face and stays so optimistic,” Eric explained, moved by her hopefulness.
Another group headed out to Bay St. Louis. Upon arrival they met the neighbor and pleasantly offered her help in any way possible. Jannaly Carlson, a senior from Arcade, N.Y., explained that the neighbor, “…graciously opened up her trailer to us to use for a restroom, her backyard as a lunch room and her yard to store our equipment.”
After talking with the neighbor, it was time to get some work done! Instead of setting foot into a moldy house or an empty house, this group set foot into eight inches of muck and a house still full of its contents. “It looked like the hurricane happened two days ago,” Jannaly said.
After removing all of the content and shoveling out buckets full of mud and muck, they are only halfway done. They will return tomorrow to finish tearing down the walls and gutting the house.
“I can’t wait to go back tomorrow and finish. Being able to do a project from start to finish is something not everyone has a chance to do, but we have that opportunity and I can’t wait to finish our job,” Jannaly said.
SBU Responds to Katrina
Countdown! | On the Road | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5