Wabash group makes an impact
Tuesday, June 17, 2008 10:30 PM
Three vans, one professor and 28 Wabash College students.
That simple combination had a major impact on the lives of Martinsville residents recently affected by floodwaters.
"The residents were great," Howard Hewitt, Wabash College director of new media, said. Hewitt led the group for the community service project.
The group spent six hours working in a trailer park cleaning up debris, including crawling under trailers to clean.
"At times, some of the kids felt like we were not accomplishing a lot," he said.
Hewitt said that he quickly told the men that 28 students, each working six hours, equaled 168 man hours. The group working together was able to accomplish more and in shorter time than the residents would have been able to do on their own, Hewitt said.
"We made an impact on those people's lives, at least on the people who live in that trailer park," he said.
For Wabash sophomore Joel Bustamante of Stockbridge, Ga., the experience was not what he expected.
"I was expecting people in distress, begging for help," he said.
He said he expected there still to be flood waters.
"The people were very gracious," he said.
John McGaughey, a sophomore from Bedford, said that their group was the third out helping these residents cleanup.
"I think I was thankful that so much damage was avoided," he said. "Floods can be so much worse. That's one thing I was thankful for."
Alex Avtgis, Munster resident and Wabash sophomore, said that the group had the opportunity to talk to the residents in addition to just help with the cleanup effort.
"Why go? Why not go," Avtgis said. "These people are in need and they are fellow Hoosiers. I would hope they would do the same for me."