Five students and two staff from Ferrum College took an Alternative Spring Break trip last month to Virginia Beach where they assisted two families who are recovering from the effects of Hurricane Matthew, which struck the Virginia coast in October 2016. The team included Stephanie Gibbs, a senior majoring in Health Sciences; Alexis Hatcher, a junior majoring in Religion; Mark Kellam, a sophomore majoring in Environmental Science; Lukas McWhorter, a junior majoring in Environmental Science; Ricky Phillips, a sophomore majoring in Computer Science; Daniel Kyle, assistant director of student leadership and engagement; and Jan Nicholson Angle, dean of the chapel.
The disaster relief work team spent the first two days assisting one family in moving salvageable belongings to storage. “More importantly, our team truly set aside ‘self ‘ and embraced ‘other’ as we listened to this beautiful couple reminisce their favorite family memories, and shed silent tears as they came to terms in parting with family heirlooms that were too water damaged to be saved,” said Dean of the Chapel Jan Nicholson Angle.
The Ferrum College team next assisted a second family by installing wood laminate flooring in both their living and dining rooms. “While the work we did and the skills we attained individually and as team were amazing, NOTHING could take the place of watching Ms. Eleanor at 70+ years of age do her happy dance on her new living room floor,” said Nicholson Angle.
Ferrum College continues to be the only Virginia based United Methodist affiliated college team to volunteer with The Virginia Conference United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Disaster Recovery working to assist families along the Virginia coast who are recovering from both the September 2016 tornado and October 2016 hurricane.
“The survivors consistently showed their gratitude and appreciation not only towards the team, but also towards the materials they still have. They found value in the little things and their faith in God showed us that even when the storm is over, we can still put our trust and faith in God to restore any brokenness we may have,” said Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Engagement Daniel Kyle.