Wednesday March 8, 2006
Kara Gilhoolly, a junior from Hamburg, N.Y., has been doing various jobs this week, from cleaning up to hanging sheetrock and working with children. There is a school on site here at Coast Episcopal where Kara spent today at.
Kara is in "field block" this semester at St. Bonaventure, a program where she goes into to a third-grade classroom to assistant teach, so she went over to Coast Episcopal school to spend the day in their third-grade classroom.
The teacher asked the children to raise their hands if they had their house destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Kara was expecting two or three students to raise their hands. She was astounded at the answer. “I couldn’t believe it! When the teacher asked the question, 14 of the 16 students in the class raised their hands,” Kara explained, still shocked by the answer.
“I think for the most part, I’m learning the little things we complain about at home about our own homes and families are nothing compared to the troubles and problems of the people here,” Kara said. “In fact, I can’t wait to get home and express that to my own family. To bring it all home and just remember that everything that we complain about every day is so small.”
Adrienne Minjarez, a junior from El Paso, Texas, has been out on several different sites clearing debris and gutting houses. Today she spent the day clearing out the entire contents of a house and then gutting it. “We gutted an entire house and it was probably the hardest day of work I’ve ever had in my life, but it was fun and it was nice to see it all finished at the end,” Adrienne said.
So have any of the homeowners been on site while BonaResponds has been working this week? For the most part, no, but today Adrienne had the chance to meet the owner of the house her crew was working on.
“It was really sad,” Adrienne explained. “At first it was kind of fun and we were just throwing things and seeing things break, but when the woman came it really changed things. These were someone’s things and it was really sad, it brought a different sort of reality to the situation. She was crying and it became really emotional, but I think it also brought us all closer together.”
So just how has this week affected the members of BonaResponds?
“It’s changed me. Some of the judgments I would have had before, I don’t have anymore,” Adrienne said. “I think that people who missed out on coming here missed out in so many different aspects.”
Even with the long work days and the emotional drain of the week Adrienne, like many others, is glad that this is how she chose to spend her spring break. “I’m just glad that we are here to finally help someone.”
SBU Responds to Katrina
Countdown! | On the Road | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5