January 4, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – More than 100 Florida A&M University students visited New Orleans, La., for three days and two nights during the holiday season helping families affected by Hurricane Katrina.
It has been six years since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, yet there is still a need for assistance. The purpose of the trip was to bring toys for the children affected by the hurricane, and volunteer at the local community centers.
“It honestly was extremely heart breaking to see that six years later, New Orleans looks as if Katrina was just yesterday,” said Jasmine Louis, a junior English education student from Orlando, Fla. “I immediately wanted to cry for all the families put out of their homes. It’s sad to see that people are still struggling.”
Upon their arrival to New Orleans, rather than checking into their hotel, FAMU students immediately began a tour of the Lower Ninth Ward, an area that was hit hardest by the storm.
“It was truly an incredible experience going to the Lower Ninth Ward,” said Antonio Hairston, a senior public relations student from Miami, Fla. “It reminds you that there are people out there who still need help. The tour was not only touching, but it also taught me about the area as well.”
The following morning, students woke up bright and early for a day of service. FAMU students were split into groups, with students visiting the Gretna Boys and Girls Club, Lower Ninth Ward Boys and Girls Club and the Iberville Boys and Girls Club.
“We painted, mopped, performed carpentry and interacted with as many children as we could,” said Mike Woodward, a senior business administration student from Georgia. “Overall, we gave back to others as much as we could.”
At the Boys and Girls Club, the students gave away hundreds of toys that were donated by FAMU’s student body.
“It was a rewarding experience,” said Matthew Holte, a junior political science student from Tampa, Fla. “It was pretty neat to put a smile on a child’s face.”
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