January 16, 2006


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LEWISBURG, Pa. - Twenty-five Bucknell students and staff are in Mississippi for winter break as part of a service-learning trip to help with relief efforts in the hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast area.

The Bucknell Katrina Relief team arrived at their tent-city in Waveland, Miss., Sunday, Jan. 8, and Janice Butler, director of service learning at Bucknell, has been filing email updates about the group's experiences and work.

Saturday, Jan. 14:

  • After a serious thunderstorm and downpour early Friday morning, the group got in some good work. One set of volunteers was on deconstruction - tearing down walls and taking out cabinets, sinks, etc. - at the home of Elaine Nabers. Her house is on a canal in Bay St. Louis. The flooding was over the roof of her two-story home. 

  • The Bucknell team donned white Tyvek body suits (think haz-mat) to protect from the fiberglass insulation, plaster dust, and mold. We looked like a bunch of Oompah Loompahs from Willy Wonka. A lot was done and the family was very appreciative.

  • Another group worked on construction - putting together a raised platform floor for the new kitchen at the ICare Village mess tent and later working on putting up dry wall for a Vietnamese family whose home had already been gutted.

  • A third group worked at the distribution center, helping to package bags of laundry detergent and keeping the shelves stocked with non-perishables as they emptied.

  • The Bucknell volunteers feel satisfied with their efforts and know the work they contributed makes a difference. We expect a cold night in the tents and one more day of hard work Saturday before heading back to good old PA Sunday.

More dispatches from the Bucknell group are here.

Story posted Jan. 16, 2006

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