California High School Students Give And Receive - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

California High School Students Give And Receive

The wrath of Hurricane Katrina can still be seen and felt on the grounds of Gulfside Assembly in Waveland. Pieces of history still lay exactly where Katrina's waters left them seven months ago.

A group of 100 students and 16 chaperones from Milken Community High School of Los Angeles is visiting to help South Mississippians begin forming a new history by cleaning up.

"Going into the marsh in the forest, we saw a lot of their personal items like dolls and a lot of their home furnishings, like we saw chairs and tables and lots of different clothing items and personal items like that. It just makes you realize that this was once a lot of people's homes and that there was such a great devastation here," said junior Alex Gall.

As the students make a week-long trek throughout the Gulf Coast states, they are learning the importance of the phrase "tikkum olam" which means repairing the world in Hebrew.

They are learning that it's not simply about raising money. It's about physically giving back to the community, even if that community is 1800 miles away.

"I really wanted to do something more direct for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. I mean, we've been having fundraisers like that at school, but I think it's great to come here and really know what the impact was," said sophomore Neta Batscha.

"We try to teach values and morals in our school. It's a very important part of what we do in Milken, and to see them in action. It's one thing to talk morals and it's another thing to act them," said Milken head Dr. Rennie Wrubel.

And because their actions have spoken louder than their words, South Mississippians say "Thank You."

The students raised $15,000 to help Mississippi. Much of that money went to restocking a food distribution center in Natchez, which had been depleted by the influx of storm victims.

By Karla Redditte

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