Students and staff members at Jacksonville college are lending a helping hand to Hurricane Harvey victims. Staff members are organizing groups of volunteers to go down to the affected areas and help clean out homes.
“After the flooding, the sheet rock has to come off the walls, the carpet has to come up and that’s actually what we did,” said Choir Director, Randy Decker.
Four groups of volunteers from Jacksonville College have traveled to Southeast Texas to help clean out homes so contractors can move in and start rebuilding.
Decker says he wanted to make sure all his students were learning life lessons outside the classroom.
“It was a required thing for our choir students,” said Decker. “We were going down there to sing anyways so we took a couple of days extra and made a mission trip out of it.”
Besides helping tear down walls and clean out homes, the students are also giving victims a message of hope.
“Our main mission was to go share the love and hope of Christ,” said sophomore, Judson Frazier.
They spread their message by doing what they do best.
“We all get up and line up in our order and we sing to these people in the middle of our street,” said sophomore Bethany Parish.
“We built those relationships with those people and we have that,” said Parish. “They don’t have anything, all of what they have is gone but the relationship that we built with them is still there.”
Frazier says the volunteer trip opened his eyes to the devastation.
“You feel sorry for them,” said Frazier. “You feel excited that you can help and you feel like you want to go back, you basically want to move down there and just help until it’s fixed.”
Decker says students at Jacksonville College will continue to help in any way that they can.
“I suspect that there will be a trip probably every couple of weeks. Someone from the college will be returning,” said Decker.