College Students Spend Fall Break Working

Pascagoula native Andy Brimm reached out across the Wabash College campus to other coast students who attend school there. It was a simple request; head home to help people put their lives back together. Forty students, many with no ties to our area, signed up.

"People were dropping their plans to come down here, dropping going home to see their families and dropping everything just to come and help out their fellow students is something amazing I think, pretty unique," Andy says.

The students have split up into groups, working where they're needed. For Andy's fraternity brothers, a quick dash to the Coast is a chance to lend a hand and visit a part of the country neither one has seen.

Tony Caldwell of Iowa says, "Being from the midwest I'm used to tornadoes, maybe some wind storms hits one house here and there but this is every house and I was just blown away by just the sheer, like moving an entire house away from its foundation just blew me out of the water."

Another fraternity member, Paul Heinemann of Illinois, says, "The second I heard about Andy coming down here and helping out his family I thought it would be a good thing to do to occupy my time. And I've never been to this area and I really wanted to see what was going on."

For Andy, it's more than just a goodwill gesture. The house where they're working belongs to his great, great Aunt Betty. When he saw how bad it was damaged, he knew he had to pitch in and help family. So they're ripping out water logged flooring and sheetrock from this long time family home.

"They're older and really can't do much with it themselves. So this was just something the family needed to pitch in and do and we saw something we could come down here and help my personal family out with," Andy says.

The students are on fall break from their college. They say more of their classmates plan to spend the Thanksgiving holiday here on the Coast helping with the cleanup.