Indiana volunteers spend spring break in South Mississippi

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A group of volunteers from Indiana has only one way to describe the week they've spent in South Mississippi.

"It's been awesome," says volunteer Andy Mooney.

Paula Metzler, the group's leader, has come down to work for the past four years. Each time she leaves, she takes a bit of South Mississippi and its people with her.

"They just touch your heart when you're down here working for them," says Paula Metzler.

For others, it's their first visit, but they came ready to make it a meaningful one.

"It's been a wonderful experience. I've been able to help a lot of people and meet new people," says Jon Leinbach, Indiana volunteer.

Not only have they met new people, they've also learned new skills.

"I can put siding up on the house now. I caulked half of the siding of the house. I also know how to put plaster on the inside of the walls," says Mooney.

Besides the new people and new skills, there are the new foods and flavors of South Mississippi.

"The crawfish is awesome! We bought like ten pounds of it," says Mooney.

The volunteers recently learned the organization their working with, Hope Force International, might not be able to afford to send more volunteers down.  Despite this, they say as long as there's work to be done, they'll figure out a plan to come back.

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