Troy University organizations are touching lives through community outreach in hurricane-stricken areas of Louisiana.
TROY’s Christian Student Center travelled south on a mission trip to lend a helping hand to residents in damaged communities. After leaving Troy on a Friday, they hit the ground running the next Saturday morning by unloading supplies collected by both the CSC and Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
Lambda Chi Alpha brother James Fibbe said they felt led to help because of their philanthropic mission and was able to gather over $1,500 worth of supplies. The fraternity also hosted a canned food drive in partnership with the City of Troy to provide non-perishable items to communities in New Orleans.
“Our philanthropy is ‘Feeding America,’” Fibbe said “and that means helping out with local communities.”
The CSC worked with the Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team, which accepts requests from residents within the community to help with whatever work they need, especially in the areas that were hit the hardest.
“Whether it’s removing trees from their property or just debris that has floated up or scooping out mud from their homes,” Campus Minister Rick Cochran added.
One team worked on gutting a bedroom and closet for a resident who had damage from a tree falling into her roof. Another team worked on cleaning out the bottom level of a house that was damaged from flooding of over 11 feet of water.
One of the most memorable moments for the group was inspiring the police chief’s brother.
“It was a request that came in that morning,” Cochran said. “We were told that that was the first time he’s ever really shown any encouragement to get to work. That it was the first time he had sounded upbeat about anything.”
Cochran said their efforts weren’t just an opportunity to put able bodies in a position to help out, but to allow college students to experience a different perspective that would encourage them to think of others first.
“Anytime somebody can have their mind shocked about their perspective of life, it is very helpful for years to come. Life may seem a little tough, but in perspective, it could be a lot worse,” Cochran said. “It’s helpful to understand, even from a spiritual perspective of if we start feeling worse about our situations, it definitely humbles us.”
Other TROY organizations had the opportunity to contribute as well; two of those groups include missionaries from Troy Catholics and donations from Delta Sigma Pi and 101 Elite Men. Delta Sigma Pi and 101 Elite Men worked to gather supplies for Louisiana’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and “Blue Roof” program to provide tarps to residents whose roofs were damaged in the storm.
“We were looking to feed about 200 to 300 people, which was a success,” said Brittany Wilbanks, a member of Delta Sigma Pi.
The two organizations were able to gather about 10 cases of water, over 100 canned goods and multiple boxes of non-perishable foods and frozen meals.