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Olivet College plans service trip to help hurricane survivors in New Orleans
Dec 03, 2009

Olivet College is once again planning a weeklong service trip to support Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans. A group of 19 students, two employees and one alumnus will leave Saturday, Dec. 5, following the colleges final exams. The group will help rebuild areas of the city and return to Olivet Saturday, Dec. 12. In addition, they will spend one night at the Morgan Scott Project in Deer Lodge, Tenn., where they will be delivering new, unwrapped toys for families in Morgan and Scott counties, two of the poorest counties in Tennessee.

While working in New Orleans, the group will visit the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish, two of the most damaged areas of the city. The students will work on various exterior painting and drywall projects in these areas, as well as rough-in a living space for a homeowner who is currently living in a house without floors, interior walls or a ceiling. The group also plans to visit organizations that are part of the citys rebuilding effort, including Musicians Village, conceived by New Orleans natives Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis, and the Make It Right Foundation, founded by Brad Pitt.

For the third consecutive year, Olivet College was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Missionary Society of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches to sponsor the trip, which is coordinated by Rev. Mike Fales, director of service learning and campus ministries at Olivet. Assisting Fales this year is Jean Paul Cortes, a 2009 Olivet graduate and volunteer with the Michigan Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA program. Rob Swanson, also a 2009 graduate of the college, will assist with the trip as well. This is the sixth trip since December 2005 that students from the college have taken to help with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Students participating in the service project include: Jessica Brannon, a junior from Olivet; Christine Cameron, a senior from Elkhart, Ind.; Kristin Chase, a junior from Hastings; Jason Christensen, a freshman from Marshall; Megan Colby, a junior from Sparta; Josh DeWitt, a freshman from Marshall; Alyssa Fredrick, a junior from Holland; Angellika Fugate, a junior from Albion; Michael Glenn, a senior from Cassopolis; Eddie Haynes, a senior from Hudson; Alex Hill, a senior from Berrien Springs; Angelique Korstanje, a junior from Charlotte; Patrick Leahy, a senior from Okemos; Jami Lingbeek, a junior from Plainwell; Veronica Maidens, a junior from Arcadia; Kelly Morgan, a sophomore from Albion; Jeremy Szymanski, a senior from Center Line; Judith Tellez-Gonzalez, a junior from Atlacomulco, Mexico; and Autumn Williams, a freshman from Tekonsha.

For more information, contact Fales at (269) 749-7624 or mfales@olivetcollege.edu.


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