Teacher learns importance of helping others from student

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - After years of trying to inspire students in the classroom,a retired California teacher says it was a young person who motivated her to reach out to those in need. This week Carolyn Seacrest spent the week in Gulfport volunteering and talked about the experience.

Seacrest is among the Californians in South Mississippi helping United Methodist Church restore homes damaged in Katrina.

"I've been basically doing molding and caulking and in this house, it's been all sanding," said Seacrest.

This was her first mission trip. Although the retired San Diego music teacher said she'd been thinking about it for years, it took a student to teach her to try something new.

"I had an ex-student of mine that came down to work after Katrina, not once but twice,"said Seacrest. "I was really inspired and she was a teenager. I just thought I'd like to come down here and do this."

The volunteers said they know one week isn't enough to finish the job, but they'll leave the house a little better than they found it.

Seacrest said, "It's not how much you do, it's the little daily things that you do that make life important. I think just the fact that people know you care. Whether it be across races or across the country, it doesn't really matter. Across religions, whatever. We're all one in the eyes of God and it's important."

The volunteers said the United Methodist Church's relief agency is also building several new homes.

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