Day 1: Biloxi volunteers get oriented

Aman Ali


PASS CHRISTIAN, MISS. — Today around 6 a.m., volunteers from Kent State arrived at The Village, the campsite in Pass Christian, Miss., where the participants will be staying.

These volunteers, part of a university-sponsored relief effort deemed “Kent State United for Biloxi,” will help reconstruct homes, medical clinics and childcare facilities, as well as participate in other projects in the area devastated by Hurricane Katrina through April 1.

After a few hours of settling in and perhaps squeezing in some last minute rest, some volunteers attended various Sunday church services throughout Pass Christian and Biloxi. At the Church of the Vietnamese Martyrs in Biloxi, Kent State donated a copy machine and boxes of Bibles to this Roman Catholic church.

Today will focus mainly on orientation, as volunteers get acquainted with their crew leaders and find out what work they’ll be doing throughout the week. Later today, crews will be sent to clean up debris alongside the shore and local parks in Pass Christian.

To read Aman’s blog about his own experiences, click here.

Another crew is working on building latrines and showers for the volunteers. Right now, there are only six showers available for more than 400 volunteers. Organizers expect the new showers to be up and running later today.

For the next five days, volunteers will be sleeping in military tents that were once occupied by Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Work throughout the week will be done in Pass Christian and Biloxi, cities within 20-30 minutes of each other.

Buses and vans will transport the volunteers to and from the campsite and will also make trips to God’s Katrina Kitchen, a center a few miles away from The Village that is serving meals to volunteers.

Check back to throughout the week for daily reports about the volunteers’ efforts.

Contact student affairs reporter Aman Ali at [email protected].