Herald Journal Columns
Feb. 27, 2006, Herald Journal

By the time you read this...
I’ll be in Mississippi


Friday night I walked onto the bus at Holt Tour and Charter with other volunteers participating in the Minnesota Katrina Relief Project.

With just a slight idea of what lies ahead of me, I am going into it with courage and a positive attitude and the hopes of doing all I can do to help those in need.

I also want to be able to give a detailed account for the people back home of the hard work and sacrifices these volunteers have set out to do.

I am going as a reporter, but also as a Christian and a volunteer. I want to do my part the best way I can.

I have been covering the project since its beginning last December when Al Nagel and others local went down to Waveland, MS for a hurricane relief effort.

The purpose was to give the hurricane victims a Christmas they otherwise wouldn’t have.

Many people in the community donated for the cause whether it be time, money, supplies or gifts.

The people of Waveland were able to have a Christmas that even included Christmas trees.

After their return, I got to see pictures of the devastation and learn of their efforts to rebuild a community.

Al showed me a DVD his son made with pictures and personal accounts of the trip and it touched my heart.

Al told me about the plans for another trip, “except this time it will be bigger,” he said, and I was immediately interested.

I wanted to be able to give a part of myself to help others in a way I have never done before.

I’ve always wanted to be a part of a mission trip, but I haven’t had the guts to leave my realm and go into unchartered territory.

Now, I’m almost 26 and I feel the need to expand my life mentally, emotionally and most importantly, spiritually.

This will be an experience I will never forget and it will have such an impact not only on myself, but the people I get to help.

I was telling my mom about the mission trip and how I was scared to be in an unfamiliar place without the comforts of my home.

Then I realized, that is just what thousands of the hurricane victims have had to do for the past five months. I think I can do it for a week.

In the weeks to come, there will be a series of articles about the volunteers from the community and the lives they have impacted.

Readers will also get the chance in my upcoming columns to read about my experiences in Waveland and how the trip impacted me on a personal level.

I’m looking forward to my trip and I hope to return with a whole new perspective on life.

To be continued...

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