Five Clarke County High School students are giving a portion of the their summer vacation to assist residents in Indiana affected by a vicious storm.
The storm struck Henrysville, Indiana on March 2, 2012 devastating homes and businesses throughout the region. The local high school, along with many homes, were completely destroyed by the storm.
The five students are volunteering with the National Relief Network (NRN), a group that organizes volunteers to help in disaster areas. The students plan to be on-site July 23rd – 28th returning Saturday to the CCHS around 4:00pm.
This year CCHS is partnering with another student relief group based in Michigan. 42 student volunteers will assist the citizens of Henryville this week. The students will be based at Safe Harbor Church Center in Memphis, Indiana. Their work day starts at 6:45 am – make breakfast, lunch and clean up – and then work begins at the disaster site from 8:00am until 3:00pm.
The CCHS group is currently working on a local farm where they are helping replace siding, roofing, painting, and general clean up. They also are helping other areas throughout the town as needed.
The relief work experience is new for all but one the students – Sam P. participated with other CCHS students last year in Alabama.
The Clarke Daily News is pleased to offer a look at the relief effort in the words of the volunteers:
Cierra P – 16: I came because it was a great opportunity for a unique summer trip that helps the unfortunate.
Candice M – 18; I came because I really like to help people and I would really like to help these people, because I appreciate help so I think they would like it too.
Sam P – 18; Last year in Alabama I had such an amazing experience and took away so much from that trip that I wanted to bring that opportunity to others–that is why I came to help ‘be the difference’.
Natassia P-15; I came because I thought that it would be a new and valuable experience.
Noah P – 15; I came because I wanted to make a difference.
Stephanie M-40; This is a unique opportunity for students. It allows them to experience something new, an ability to help people put their lives back together. They will realize how much of a difference one person can make. I believe all students who participate in this event will come back with a better understanding of what is important.
Day 2 – Day 3
Day 2: Sam P:
Today we worked hard fighting the heat. Our worksite is spread out into three lots/houses. The main house is on a farm–right behind the schools that were completly demolished. The neighbors watched in horror as the multiple vortex tornado ripped through the community they knew so well. Though it hit in March there is still a ton of work to be done here and every little bit makes the difference, as we learned today thinks like painting, siding and general help around the property. We learned to put siding on the house and there I was one of the lucky volunteers who was put onto the roof to finish nailing in the house cover. After lunch, I joined three other girls and split from the main group to drive to another worksite and tarp the roof damaged by the tornadoes.
Day 3: Sam P
Today we saw our work finally come together. I paired up with a small group of people I never met before and together (with a scaffolding and plenty of nails!!) we finished the siding on one of our three work sites. Measure out, measure, cut some more, level, nail, next. While I did this with two other girls on my team, we listened to the homeowner tell us his war stories and his 21 years of service, mostly in Germany and in Desert Storm. He told us how he met his wife and them he spoke to us about his mother, who came out to say hi to us, seeming a little lost. I don’t think she remembered what exactly happened to her home. Mary L suffers from alzhimers, he told us in a struggled voice how he was taking care of her. While I attached the next piece of siding , I thought of my great grandmother , who herself suffered from the disease before she succumed to it. Every little bit we do counts, we are helping make the difference.
Day 3: Cierra
I worked at the tent kitched! It is kind of like a soup kitchen but under a tend and locals who are still dealing with the disaster use it. The tent is on the property of a church that blew down during the tornados. The church was completley destroyed, but the 35 kids hiding in the basement left completley unharmed. I spoke to a lot of volunteers from every where, such as WV and KY. It was really fun, especially since it woas 101 Foutside, yet if we wanteded to we could “chill” in the -2 F freezer. I like it but I cant wait to work on houses again tomorrow. The people are so nice here, though since I’m a Ohio fan and they are from Michigan we argue. Indiana is really nice, a lot like Berryville. It is sad that a tornado hurt this cute community but its inspiring how everyone is so strong and moving forward with lives.
Day 3: Natassia
Today I worked at the food tent with Cierra and a couple of other volunteers. It was so fun! In the morning we didn’t really know each other but we were all friends at the end of the day. At the tent I talked with one of lady volunteers. Her and her husband have been working since the very beginning. It was awesome getting to know her and their story.
Day 3: Candice: Today I sat down with a few other volunteers and a scraped shutters. I didn’t feel like I was doing much but then one of the other volunteers told me that the owners were thankful for what I was doing because the house had been in their family for four generations and that fixing them up was a great help to them. I can’t wait for tomorrow!!
Clarke Daily News will provide additional reports and pictures from the relief team as they become available.