About three-dozen students, faculty and staff from Northwestern College in Orange City will leave Saturday to help Louisiana residents rebuild their homes that were damaged in last year’s hurricanes. Dave Nonnemacher, Northwestern’s director of service learning, says two teams will fan out in New Orleans and in Charles City to help with various jobs including demolition, framing, roofing and hanging sheetrock.
Nonnemacher says “We’d like to take away, for sure, the fact that we accomplished something and helped out the people in the 14th Ward. Many of these people don’t have the where-with-all to do anything to their houses. They don’t have insurance. They don’t have the money to pay for somebody to come in and do it.” He says it’s remarkable some of these homes have sat untouched since Hurricane Katrina hit in August of 2005.
Nonnemacher says “We’re not seeing it every day in the news anymore. It’s not old news but certainly the need is great. We’re going to step into it and see what we can do.” Some of the Northwestern theatre students will also be lending different skills to the effort by staging a drama while in New Orleans, telling stories of some Katrina survivors. Nonnemacher says this is the second year in a row Northwestern has sent a delegation to Louisiana to help the Trinity Christian Community, a ministry serving low-income areas of New Orleans.
Nonnemacher says “For these students to give up eight days of their Christmas break, leaving at six A.M. the morning after final exams, it’s a pretty significant decision to go down. These are people we care about and people we do have a relationship established with — fellow laborers for the kingdom.” The group from northwest Iowa is expected to be in Louisiana from Saturday through December 23rd.