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07-04_gulfcoast_1Over spring break, 21 students, faculty and parents traveled to the Mississippi Gulf Coast for Milton’s second annual Community Service Break Trip. The group helped repair several houses in various stages of recovery from the disaster wrought by Hurricane Katrina. In one case, they laid the gravel driveway, regraded the yard to avoid flooding, assembled a storage shed and dug a long trench to house pipes that will connect the home with town water. This work resulted in the house passing final inspection so its owner could finally move back in; a highlight for the group was meeting this owner who had returned from her temporary situation in Alabama.

The biggest test of teamwork came in gutting the inside of a house that had not been touched since the five-foot deluge of water and mud swept through it one and a half years ago. The group moved every piece of furniture and personal belonging out onto the street, and then demolished and removed all the drywall, carpeting, and electrical wiring, as well as the kitchen and bathrooms. Witnessing the change in the owner’s face, from depression to renewed hope, was tremendously rewarding. The group ended their trip with sightseeing in New Orleans.