Hundreds of students from Kent State University are helping with hurricane recovery. They're among several groups spending an "alternative spring break" on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
They swarmed the Pass Harbor like worker bees in a field of flowers.
"There's about 400 of us," said one of the student volunteers.
The harbor group is on clean up duty. These visitors from a thousand miles away were shocked at what Katrina did to the coast.
"Nothing like you see on TV. It's absolutely amazing to see down here, everything that happened. TV doesn't do it justice," said Mallory Selway.
Lynn Yamokoski was glad to help out.
"We're from Ohio, Northeast Ohio. And we're kind of oblivious to what's going on. And came down here to help out. Give back to the community. Do some good," she said.
For many of the students it's a spring break unlike any other. Ryan Tascar was among the young people yearning for something more fulfilling.
"I wanted to do something other than party down in Myrtle Beach. I wanted to be a part of something a little bigger than myself. Maybe help some people," he said.
The spring break help is surely appreciated. Visiting students have already experienced the thanks of a grateful community.
"It's really great when you get to talk to people from around here. Like when we pulled up on the buses, they came out with big signs that said "Welcome to Pass Christian" and everything. That's really touching," said Natalie Benedict.
The harbor clean up is the first in a week's worth of work assignments.
"It's something I really wanted to do. Come down here and volunteer and help the people of Pass Christian," said Benedict.
The working spring break will help those in need, while building character in those who labor.
"I'm glad that I did it. It makes me feel better about myself. I'm just glad to help anybody I can," Selway said.