Date: August 31, 2005
In response to the recent tragedy of hurricane Katrina, Andrews University, with the support of local churches and community businesses, has been invited to send a group of volunteers to aid Bass Memorial Academy and the surrounding area of Lumberton, Miss. The academy, located 90 miles north of New Orleans, LA, suffered extensive hurricane damage, including destruction of the gym roof, cafeteria, and chapel.
A team of 45 students, faculty, staff and community volunteers will depart on Thursday evening, September 1, at 6:00 pm, with plans to return on Tuesday morning, September 6. The trip is sponsored by the Campus Ministries Office and the Andrews University Student Association (AUSA). Plans are to provide both the support of physical labor and encouragement. The Andrews University Counseling and Testing Center will be providing volunteers with pre-incident support training and counseling.
“We’re mobilizing to do what we can to meet the needs of Bass Academy and the surrounding area,” said Patrick Murphy, chaplain for outreach and trip coordinator. “There are so many needs it’s overwhelming, but if we can go down there, encourage, pray, and work to get the academy together so that they can then go and help those around them, we can make a difference. God be with us and all of his people.”
“As a Christian university, it’s important that the student body have an opportunity to respond just as we did in 9/11 and other disasters,” said Pastor Ron Whitehead, assistant to the president for spiritual life. After September 11, groups of student volunteers responded to government and relief agencies that needed personnel in New York City.
The estimated costs for the trip are $50 per student, per day, totaling $250 per volunteer. An appeal for donations has been made around campus and to the local churches and community. AUSA will be placing containers to receive donations around campus and holding a car wash, an offering will be taken up in Thursday’s convocation service, and campus departments are being asked to consider sponsoring a volunteer.
“Students don’t always pay attention to what’s going on around them when they are in school, and this effort will be a chance to raise awareness,” said AUSA President Guillermo Magana.
Those interested in more information about the trip, or finding out how they can help through donations, can go to the Campus Ministries website at www.andrews.edu/cm or call the Campus Ministries Office at 269-471-3211.
This trip will be just the first of planned hurricane relief efforts.