Cedarville University Students Give Up Fall Break to Work in Hurricane Zone

by Public Relations Office

Cedarville, Ohio - Two hundred and fifty Cedarville University students are giving up their Fall Break this week to do volunteer labor in areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. Two hundred of the students are on their way to New Orleans to assist Berean Bible (www.bereanbchurch.org), Faith Bible (www.fbcnola.org), and Fellowship Bible churches. The remainder are traveling to Biloxi, Miss., to engage Bay Vista Baptist Church (www.bayvista.org) in cleanup work. Dr. Carl Ruby, the University's vice president for student life, stated, "These churches will be acting as staging points for the teams' deployments to other affected churches and neighborhoods (in addition to whatever work still needs to be done at those churches by the time the teams arrive). Most of the work is still cleanup and 'de-construction,' meaning they will be cleaning out structures and removing spoiled floors, floor coverings, and plaster and drywall." Cedarville resident Johannah Leightenheimer is one of the students sacrificing her vacation to help. "I feel terribly for these people who have lost everything," the sophomore English major said. "I have everything I need and more, so why not give of my own time and resources to help them out? If I really feel any compassion for them, then the only logical thing to do is to help them. I am thankful that the University has made it so easy to do so." The University sent out the first part of its 20-van and four-bus caravan of work teams at 4 a.m. this morning. Additional caravans left at noon and 2 p.m. "The goal is to have each team have three full work days before they have to return in time for classes on Oct. 24," explained Ruby. The Fall Break excursions are the first of Cedarville's planned journeys to the hurricane zone. Additional trips are planned for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Breaks. The work teams are part of Cedarville University's disaster relief plan, which challenged the University family to donate $100,000 and produce 250 student volunteers by May 2006. Students kicked off the relief efforts on September 16 by donating $74,000 in just one hour. In less than a month, the University has surpassed its hurricane relief goals with $113,957 raised and 500 students signed up for work teams. Cedarville University would like to thank Lowe's of Beavercreek, Jones & Mitchell, Coleman's Lawn Equipment in Springfield, Gordon Foods, and Pioneer College Catering for either offering discounts on supply purchases or donating supplies for the work excursions. For more information about Cedarville's disaster relief plan, visit www.cedarville.edu/disasterrelief.