Tuesday October 4, 2005

Mississippi Bound

Three groups from the University of Dayton will travel to cities in Mississippi this week to help with hurricane relief efforts.

PASCAGOULA-BOUND - A group of 10 students and two teachers from the Dayton Early College Academy (DECA) will travel to hurricane-ravaged Pascagoula, Miss., to help with clean-up efforts Oct. 5-9. DECA is a Dayton public high school on UD's campus.

The group will depart at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from the parking lot at DECA, located outside the College Park Center on Brown Street across from Holy Angels Church. "They'll be distributing goods, shoveling mud, cleaning up debris and helping with landscaping," said Judy Hennessey, principal of DECA. "I think it might be a life-changing experience for the kids."

Contact P.R. Frank, DECA media adviser and organizer of the trip, at (937) 414-7975.

BILOXI-BOUND - Approximately 55 University of Dayton students, faculty and staff will make a 1,600-mile round-trip journey by bus to Mississippi Oct. 7-11 to help the Catholic diocese of Biloxi with hurricane clean-up efforts. The trip is being coordinated by UD's Center for Social Concern during UD's fall mid-term break.

The group will meet at 8 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, for a prayer and to load the bus outside the Immaculate Conception Chapel. The bus will depart at 9 a.m. They will stay at the diocesan retreat center in Dedeaux and spend their time unloading trucks, delivering food, cleaning churches and schools, and helping with debris removal - all coordinated through the Catholic Charities Distribution Center in Biloxi.

"The damage has been very, very significant," said Nick Cardilino, director of the Center for Social Concern. "You have an immense amount of rural poverty, and the diocese is facing problems with some of its schools and churches being wiped out to the ground."

Contact Nick Cardilino, director of UD's Center for Social Concern, at (937) 229-2576.

PASS CHRISTIAN-BOUND -- Approximately 34 students from the UD chapter of Campus Crusade for Christ and three staff members from Miami University will travel in three vans to Pass Christian, Miss., to help with clean-up efforts Oct. 7-11. They are expected to leave at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, from 403 Stonemill Rd.

In a relief effort organized by the Trinity Episcopal Church, the group will tear out wet carpet and drywall in Gulfport homes, organize a clothing and toy drive, and prepare meals.

"I have a heart for service and helping out other people," said Devee Sresthadatta, a junior pre-physical therapy major from Columbus, who's organizing the trip. "The UD community has been very willing to help out. It's very, very inspiring."

Contact Devee Sresthadatta at (937) 627-8406.