July 23, 2008
Approximately 15 Morningside College students, staff and alumni will travel to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to help in recovery efforts that have been underway since floodwaters swept through the city last month.
Led by the Rev. Kathy Olson, Morningside chaplain and director of church relations, the Morningside group will leave for Cedar Rapids on Sunday, July 27, and spend several days assisting in flood cleanup. The Morningside group is working through the Volunteers in Mission program of the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
The Morningside group also is partnering with another team comprised of volunteers from St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Cherokee, Iowa, and will be working with members of the Cherokee team in Cedar Rapids.
“We’ve been told that our primary tools in Cedar Rapids will be shovels, hammers, crowbars and utility knives,” Olson said. “It sounds like it’s still pretty messy over there. I think it’s to their credit that our students are willing to take time from their summer break to help Cedar Rapids residents still struggling to recover from the effects of the flood.”
Olson added that Morningside College students and staff have a recent tradition of assisting in recovery and rebuilding efforts after natural disasters. Morningside groups have made four trips to work in hurricane-damaged areas along the Gulf Coast. In the spring of 2006, a Morningside group helped with cleanup and reconstruction efforts in Picayune, Miss., which was devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. That trip was followed by other mission efforts in Lake Charles, La., during the spring of 2007 and in Beaumont, Texas, during Christmas 2007. The most recent trip was in March to the New Orleans area to repair or rebuild homes.