The following is an article pertaining to Xavier’s outreach after the tornadoes in New Orleans. Enjoy!
When tragedy strikes, the community is quick to come together to help lift up one another.
On Tuesday Feb. 7, 2017, seven tornadoes touched down in the East New Orleans area. Several homes faced serious damage and are in need of extreme renovations. Luckily, many people such as students from local schools are willing to help out the tornado victims.
Students from Xavier University of Louisiana participated in an community service program called “Service Saturday” where a group of students went to New Orleans East to help clean up debris from the storm.
“Service is a big component to fulfilling Xavier University of Louisiana’s mission. The Center for Student Leadership and Service was designed to instill students the importance of giving back to the community, for us that’s a big part of creating a more just and humane society, that’s one of the many ways we prepare our students to assume roles of leadership in a global society,” said Kim Hutchings, Assistant Director for Student Community Engagement at Xavier University of Louisiana. “Actually, Service Saturday was created from the effect of Hurricane Katrina, a couple students wanted to go outta into the community and help in any way possible. Eventually, Service Saturday became a norm for Xavier, students like to give back and it’s definitely a different spirit when students and the community are mixed and mingled for the greater cause.”
This volunteering experience really opened up the eyes of the students who participated. They began to realize how important it is to join in efforts with their community in a time of need.
“While I was volunteering, I thought about how much the city of New Orleans has been through; starting with Hurricane Katrine, to the oil spill, to the flooding in Baton Rouge, and now a tornado in the East,” said sophomore Biology- Pre Med major Maya Briggs. “Spending time in the East helped me to realize how resilient the New Orleans residents are because they are able to pick their heads up and rebuild after a crisis. I believe volunteering at a time like this is important because we’re able to help members of the community pick themselves up and put their lives back together.”
“Volunteering today in New Orleans East was truly an experience. I was not fully aware of the damages that were caused by the tornado until I got there,” said junior Public Health major Brianna Warren. “Seeing people’s lives torn apart in a matter of seconds really made me appreciate the things that I have. It is especially important to volunteer at times like these, so that those affected know that there are others who care and are willing to help. In addition to creating a more just and humane society, volunteering strengthens communities and encourages personal growth.”
If you want a better look of where the students volunteered, click here to see a visual point of view of the damage that occurred in New Orleans East.