PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - On 12th Street in Pascagoula, the sound of jingle bells has been replaced by the sound of saws, hammers, and power drills. Some Ohio State University students are smoothing the way for a brighter future for a coast family.
"I think it's really important for citizens to get involved in their community, and I think that's what a role model is because being an active citizen means more than just paying taxes and stuff. It's to give back and pay forward," volunteer Sam Urs said.
While here, the students are climbing to new heights when it comes to giving back. Taylor Arnold is another volunteer.
"I wanted to do something different," said Arnold.
"A lot of times when I go home on break, like in high school, I would just sit around and watch TV and not really do anything constructive, so I wanted to get out and about and start helping people."
For some, like Eagle Scout John Glesser, this effort comes naturally.
"It's been a life changing process getting to and from, starting out and become an Eagle and it is a sense of community that brought me there and it's continuing to this day," said Glesser.
For all of these hearty Buckeye students, getting their hands dirty and pounding a few nails makes them feel physically good. They know they're helping a family that's going to be moving into this house. There's also spiritual growth here as well.
"Every evening, we kind of reflect about our day and think about some of the things we did and how it changes us on a personal level and then as a whole in Mississippi and the world," said volunteer Rachel DeLucia.
For Habitat site managers like Paul Waters, the students bring something special with them.
"There's always a lot of positive energy. They're here to work hard but have a great time while they're at it and it's just a lot of fun to work with them," said Waters.
The experience is fun and fulfilling, all at the same time.
The students will be heading back home this weekend. Before leaving though, they plan on doing some sightseeing. More importantly, they say they're going to eat some fresh seafood and po-boys.