Hurricane Recovery Efforts in New Orleans Aided by Concord University Students

For Immediate Release: 
Mar 28 2006

Hurricane Recovery Efforts in New Orleans Aided by Concord University Students

Athens, W.Va. - In just two days, a group of volunteers can entirely gut a house ravaged by a hurricane. With that knowledge in mind, a motivated group from Concord University headed to New Orleans, La., for just that purpose.

Since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged the Gulf Coast, the students of Concord University have rallied to provide aid to the region. That spirit of assistance continued when 14 Concord students and one administrator and his wife traveled to New Orleans March 23 to 26 to work in the Lower Ninth Ward with recovery efforts.

The Concord team worked on two different houses on Delery Street during the stay. They finished gutting one house and then began and completed the gutting of another house a block down the street. The workers began by moving all furniture, appliances and belongings from the house … only the studs were in place upon completion.

At the second home, the students had an opportunity to meet and converse with the homeowners about the tragic experience.

“The trip to New Orleans was one of the most moving experiences of my life. We met the family who lived in the house and they were truly thankful for our help. I don’t think I would trade my experience in New Orleans for anything in this world,” said Jessica Cook from Cyclone.

During their stay, the Concord team stayed at “Light City,” a camp of thousands of volunteers from all across the United States created and hosted by Campus Crusade for Christ.

They also had the opportunity to work with students from other states including two from Ohio State University and two from Oregon State University.

Concord student Jesse Call from Pocahontas, Va., organized the trip and invited students from all groups at Concord to join in the efforts. Students delivered clothing donations collected by Circle K, a community service organization at Concord.

In the evening, the students did get to enjoy times of fellowship and visit downtown New Orleans. They were even part of the live news program “Anderson Cooper 360” on CNN.

The Student Government Association and the Bonner Scholars Program Community Fund provided funding for the trip.

The students who participated in the trip were Brittany Addair of Bradshaw; Jenna Addington of Athens, Ohio; Laura Blankenship of Oak Hill; Faithen Burkhammer of Weston; Jesse Call of Pocahontas, Va.; Nicole Colton of Bridgeport; Jessica Cook of Cyclone; Christina Easton of Matewan; Treska Dunbar of Palestine; Ashley Hackney of Kenna; Danielle Richmond of Talcott; Kourtney Short of Welch; Summer Short of Iaeger; and Samantha Smith of St. Mary’s.

Bill Skeat, director of the Student Center and his wife, Leslie, also participated in the relief efforts.


PHOTO: Ashley Hackney of Kenna tears down sheet rock inside a home destroyed by the hurricanes in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, La.

PHOTO: A team of Concord University students and administrators participated in clean up and recovery efforts in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, La.

Pictured are (back row, left to right) Nicole Colton of Bridgeport; Samantha Smith of St. Mary’s; Christina Easton of Matewan; Jenna Addington of Athens, Ohio; Jesse Call of Pocahontas, Va.; Jessica Cook of Cyclone and (front row, left to right) Brittany Addair of Bradshaw; Summer Short of Iaeger; Kourtney Short of Welch; Faithen Burkhammer of Weston; Laura Blankenship of Oak Hill; Ashley Hackney of Kenna; Treska Dunbar of Palestine; and Leslie and Bill Skeat of Athens.

PHOTO: A debris pile collected from inside one of the homes.