Students help flood victims during Community Service Week

Published 9:05 am Saturday, April 16, 2016

By Dawn Burleigh

DEWEYVILLE — Robbie Campbell did not expect the floodwaters to reach as high as it did during the March floods.

“I am glad I evacuated,” Campbell said. “In ’89 water almost went into the house, but it never got this high before.”

Campbell has lived in the house for 28 years and his parents lived there for 33 years before he purchased it.

As the waters receded, Campbell realized he would need to seek assistance with the needed cleanup after the devastating damages to his home.

“I knew I could not do it alone,” Campbell said. “I really appreciate the volunteers. The first couple of weeks after the flood were rough. It is starting to get better now.”

Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization, is currently helping homeowners in Orange and Deweyville areas to muck out and gut flooded homes, sanitize and help salvage and pack personal belongings. With the number of homes destroyed in the Deweyville area, the group is in need of volunteers to help with the demand for their services.

Community Christian high School students volunteered to spend Community Service Week assisting Samaritan’s Purse and helping those recovering from the devastation.

The students take one week out of the school year to do community service around the Golden Triangle.

“It is a Mini Mission,” Lindsey Burns, a sophomore at the school said. “I enjoy helping others.”

Burns knocked down walls and helped pull out nails during the week.

“It is fun. It is a good way to get out your anger,” Burns said with a laugh.

Contessa Brooks, with Community Christian Church, was with the students working right along side them during the week.

“The kids were excited when the pastor suggested partnering with Samaritan’s Purse,” Brooks said. “One of the kids working with us this week was affected by the flood. He was willing to be here to help others. That is what God wants us to do.”

Katie Katajasper, a freshman, said it was about being able to help with the gifts God gave her.

Katajasper enjoys ‘handy work’ and seeing the difference it makes for other people.

“It is all worth doing to see people in devastation smile,” Katajasper said.

Being there was not just because the church or the school asked the students to be there, according to Colby Jeane, a sophomore.

“I like serving people in general and those I do not know,” Jeane said. “I am lazy and I know that. It is better to do something than to do nothing at all. The Bible asks us to serve our brothers and sisters. I believe that is hat I should be doing.”

Once the students return to the classroom on Monday, Samaritan’s Purse will be in need of volunteers to help serve the needs of those in the community as the workforce will go from 80 to 20 workers.

There are still many flood victims displaced who are living outside in tents, or open sheds, or are staying with friends and family.  Contact Samaritan’s Purse for more information by calling 409-238-4926 or visiting

“The kids are here for a week,” Samaritan’s Purse volunteer Deborah Cooper said. “We appreciate their help. There is still so much work to be done.”