PRC students give back to Louisiana neighbors
Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 8, 2016
Students from Pearl River Central High School recently participated in a service day in Denham Springs, Louisiana.
PRC’s NJROTC instructor, Chief Ronald Hazlewood, led the 53 students from ROTCH, the National Honor’s Society, and Beta Club on the volunteer project.
The group split into three teams, helping three homeowners in various stages of restoration, Hazlewood said.
Students removed debris, pulled out carpet and ripped out drywall that was damaged due to floodwaters, Hazlewood said.
The students were enthusiastic and business-like; they suited up and jumped in, Hazlewood said.
“This event really is indicative of the school,” Hazlewood said. “The school is really involved in the community.”
Last week, he said the school held a blood drive where students donated over 90 units of blood.
“They really do have the sense of giving back,” Hazlewood said.
The students put in five hours of hard work in the southern heat and at the end of the day there was an overall sense of satisfaction, Hazlewood said.
“I can assure you they all slept well that night,” he said.
Hazlewood said the group worked with Samaritan’s Purse, the organization that organized the project and found homeowners who needed help.
“We provided the labor, they supplied the tools,” he said.
Students were able to work side-by-side with the homeowners, two of which were older women who lived next door to one another, Hazlewood said.
“It probably puts a more human touch to it, to actually see and talk to individuals who they’re helping,” Hazlewood said.
He said at the end of every project, Samaritan’s Purse asks the volunteers sign a Bible to give to the homeowner.
“The kids realized that this is a difficult time for these families,” Hazlewood said. “It’s special for the kids to be able to know that you really did make a difference.”
Hazlewood is planning another cleanup day on Sept. 17 in Denham Springs.
“Right when I ended the event they wanted to go back and help some more,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we had more volunteers.”