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Remembering Katrina

By: Christina Vitale
By: Christina Vitale

Hannah Hill and Jonathan Rubottom appear to be the everyday teenagers, but something sets them apart from their piers.

Both Hill and Rubottom have made several trips along with the Wildwood Church group to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, an area devastated by Hurricane Katrina almost one year ago.

Hannah Hill, a member of the student ministry, said, "At my house I barely do the dishes. But when I am over there I just feel like I have to do and want to do whatever I can to help."

And the goal of helping those in need is what middle and high school students did. They did everything from cleaning out to rebuilding homes. Hill talks about her favorite memories.

"They give you stories about how they survived the storm and what after the storm they had to do. It's just overwhelming."

Another person overwhelmed is the leader of youth ministry who says he has seen a change in the students.

Todd Veleber, student pastor, said, "Every single one of them came back with a renewed appreciation for what they had been given, because you kind of walk away going, ‘we live pretty close to the coast just like these people and this could have been us.’

Rubottom has made six trips to Bay St. Louis since Katrina.

He says, "I wasn't looking for anything back. It's just a really gratifying and satisfying work to be able to do."

Both Hill and Rubottom hope to make many more future trips to help out in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Members of the Wildwood Presbyterian Church are planning on heading back to Bay St. Louis in October.


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