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Archive for Sunday, September 18, 2005

Students trek to Louisiana on mission of mercy

September 18, 2005

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They are bringing supplies, but what they really want to give is encouragement and a way to take people's minds off the difficult aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

A group of more than 50 student members of Kansas University's Campus Crusade for Christ have traveled to Louisiana to aid hurricane evacuees.

"We're going to go and encourage the people and help them cope," said Mark Brown, the student group's director.

The group left in a caravan of vehicles Thursday night and will return today. The trip is organized by the national organization of Campus Crusade for Christ. The students will help evacuees in Minden, La., a town in the northern part of the state near Shreveport.

The town is hosting hundreds of evacuees, Brown said.

The students took clothing and other supplies. But their primary goal was to try to give evacuees a break from the heartache. They brought magazines. And for the children, they had face paint and games, friendship bracelets and toys.

"I'm so excited that I have this opportunity to help," said Danielle Firsching, a KU senior.

Brown said there were more volunteers for the trip than could go.

"I've been like a proud father," he said. "Just seeing them respond, it's been great."

The students have gathered donations from churches to help pay for the effort.

Some are camping during the trip. Others are sleeping in churches or a community recreation center.

They have an opportunity to do what many have hoped they could: give immediate help to evacuees.

"I'm just excited to be able to help in whatever way we can and just be a blessing to the people," said Amanda Tate, a KU senior.

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