Canadian students help Katrina victims rebuild in Pascagoula - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Canadian students help Katrina victims rebuild in Pascagoula

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A group of Canadians traveled more than 40 hours by bus to rebuild homes in Jackson County this week.  The college students are from Nova Scotia. They've teamed with Habitat for Humanity to expand MEMA Cottages into larger homes for families.

"We are going to have a standard shotgun house, which is the MEMA cottage. We are adding an addition of a living and a master bedroom with a bath to it," volunteer Brad Holland explained.  

The work has been non-stop in Pascagoula since sunrise. The volunteers have been climbing ladders, nailing down boards, and knocking down walls.

"It is very hard. I have never torn down a wall in my life," volunteer Hanna Nathanson said. 

Nathanson said even though a lot of this work is new to her, she's happy to be here. She was in high school when Katrina's wind and water destroyed so many homes and lives. 

"When my mom and I heard it on the news what happened, the devastation, our immediate thought was how can we go and help, if we ever get the opportunity?" Nathanson remembered. 

Almost five years later, she finally got the opportunity and jumped at the chance. 

"It is a lot different than just sending a check." 

Volunteer Josh Vomberg couldn't agree more.  The college student said this build shows that work still needs to be done on the coast, and he encourages more young people to sacrifice their time to help. 

"There is always time.  We are down here on our spring break and I brought three textbooks; I have to study after the build," Vomberg said.

After a hard day's work, the helpful visitors are looking forward to tasting some of that delicious Southern cuisine they've heard so much about.

"I need some Cajun chicken.  I am here for the Cajun chicken, I am expecting it," Vomberg said with a smile. "The food is really delicious and I love it."

The group also plans to travel to New Orleans to help with relief efforts there.

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