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Asbury students go to Louisiana, disaster relief

As Asbury van motors roared, and drivers set their sights on Louisiana, 16 students buckled up, all with one goal in mind — to do their part in the Louisiana disaster relief.

Students from different majors and different classes left on Aug. 25, and were back Aug. 28, Brad Johnson, director of Asbury marketing and communications, said.

“When there is a relief event somewhere, it is not surprising that Asbury students right away see that as part of their mission and calling,” Johnson said.

Each of the 16 students paid $100 to fund his or her part of the trip.

“These students are missing class and some of them might have to miss work,” Johnson said. “So some of the struggle was coordinating with their professors as well.”

The part students played in helping with the disaster relief included disinfecting things, cleaning houses, clearing out damaged furniture from homes and distributing supplies, Johnson said.

Students were not the only ones spending time and money toward the efforts. A hundred dollars per student would not have been enough to cover everything so Asbury donated vans and money for meals, Johnson said.

Asbury graduate Greg Martin got the ball rolling for the students by offering information about the disaster relief.

“Martin works with an organization named DRAW (Disaster Relief at Work), and this organization goes and works on disaster relief everywhere,” Johnson said. “Because he is an Asbury grad, he knows that Asbury would be interested in helping.”

Last week, Martin asked the student development team if anyone would be interested in going to Louisiana.

“And, of course there were already students who had asked about it,” Johnson said. “Within a couple days the group already had a couple vans worth of students.”

This was not the first time Asbury students participated in disaster relief. They extended a helping hand in 2012 with hurricane damage in New Orleans and tornado relief in West Liberty. In 2013, students also provided tornado relief in Moore, Oklahoma.

“Asbury is all about what you learn here, academically and spiritually, and that is what you take out into the world,” Johnson said.