Students Spend February Break Restoring Flooded Home

For eight members of Aquinas Institute’s National Honor Society (NHS), February Break was anything but a time for rest and relaxation. These students took part in an unforgettable mission trip to Burgaw, North Carolina, outside of Wilmington, to help salvage a home and restore the spirit of one woman who lost nearly everything in Hurricane Florence.

The hurricane, which made landfall in September 2018, caused severe flooding along the North Carolina coast and damaged over 100,000 homes. Now, five months later, the state is in the rebuilding phase and is relying on volunteers to help get people out of temporary housing and back in their homes.

Prior to the arrival of the Aquinas group, two retirees and the homeowner – now in her 70s – were the only ones working on the home to get it to a livable state. By the end of the week though, with help from Aquinas’ students and chaperones, the project is expected to be complete nearly three months sooner than it would have been.

NHS moderator and mission trip coordinator Sue Smith says that she’s already looking to go back next year. “There are 1,700 homes in the Burgaw area that have still not been touched,” said Smith. “The need for volunteers will be there even a year from now and this experience is one I hope to share with the next group of NHS students.”
The students who went on this year’s mission trip put together a short video that captures the hard work that made this a truly unforgettable experience. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCvNK2Z-CHA.
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