Volunteers help rebuild home for Hancock County family - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Volunteers help rebuild home for Hancock County family

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HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

A Hancock County family will soon have a place to call home again more than seven years after Hurricane Katrina severely damaged their Lower-Bay Road home. Habitat for Humanity and volunteers from Maine are working to put a roof back on the family's home.

Many of the students took their muscle power to the roof of the home. They are all from Falmouth High School in Falmouth, Maine.

It's the fifth consecutive year the school has sent students 1,700 miles to the south to lend a helping hand.

"We had to read a book about Katrina and it really opened my eyes about the devastation. And it's seven years and so many people are still suffering," said 11th Grade student Riley Burfeind.

"Under Surge Under Siege" by local author Ellis Anderson is the book students were required to read before making this trip.

"It really puts in prospective what everyone went through. I've been dying to come down here ever since hearing stories of my grandfather making a big difference down here. Unfortunately I haven't been able to come down until now," explained 11th grade student Graham Macewan.

Macewan's grandfather Bill Eastburn organized a group in Philadelphia that will raise millions of dollars to build Hancock County a new food pantry, an early childhood center and an animal shelter.

Susan Daigre, with Habitat Bay-Waveland said the students have been a major help.

"There are jobs like this that are huge, that we couldn't get done without our volunteers," Daigre said.

The students pay their own way to fly down and help out.

It's a week-long community service project.

"It's a privileged to watch how much they grow in a week being down here. Being around new adults. Being on a construction site and they grow up. So it's an incredible life experiencing for the kids," said Holly Macewan, Falmouth High's Community Service Coordinator.

It also means a new beginning for the homeowner.

"I'm just so grateful they're around," said Homeowner, David McCuloch.

Student Riley Burfeind, said it was an experience she will never forget.

"We helped build a house, which is really amazing," Burfeind said.

The students also made donations to a local food pantry, animal shelter and early childhood center.

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