The Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) held an event called Mud Out from Oct. 20-21, in which roughly 30 students helped aid hurricane disaster relief in the North Conway area. The experience was open to all students who wanted to sign up for a mission trip experience through BCM.
According to campus minister Kendal Danford, Mud Out is a process of taking everything out of homes that were damaged by floods.
Danford said BCM removed damaged floors, appliances, walls, insulation and much more. He also said his group sprayed homes with anti-mold spray, which prepares houses to be rebuilt after everything has dried.
Danford organized the trip for students to give back to communities that were heavily impacted by Hurricanes Florence and Michael. He said BCM felt the need to help neighborhoods in the Conway area because many FMU students are from there.
“The purpose of the trip was to serve people in our area and give them a sense of hope again,” Danford said. “We wanted them to know that people care and are there to support them during difficult times. We also wanted them to know that God loves them, even during hard times.”
Senior Syquita Jones said she got involved in this outreach event because Conway is home to her, and she wanted to help people get back up after the hurricane.
“This event has shown me how great community is, and that it’s okay to ask for help and to help others who sometimes can’t help themselves.” Jones said. “Going on this trip helped me value more personal things, and appreciate the things I have, because they could be taken away in the blink of an eye.”
Junior middle-level education major Joel Taylor said he decided to participate in this event because he saw how heavy of an impact the hurricanes had on people. He said hurricane relief events are extremely beneficial and that the work his group did would have cost the homeowners at least $20,000.
“I got involved in this event because I saw the devastation that the hurricane had, and I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives,” Taylor said. “I feel like it’s always important to support neighboring communities in times of need.”
Richard Brown, senior psychology major, BCM intern and president of the Student Alumni Association, said he learned about the need for help and wanted to pitch in.
“Being involved in opportunities like these shapes your perspective, it allows you to actually see what is happening beyond the television,” Brown said. “This emergency impacted me as a person to realize and remember everything is temporary.”
Taylor recommended that other students join future events like this one.
“I believe this event grew me as a person. I was skeptical about the work we were doing before we got there but afterward my whole perspective was changed,” Taylor said. “I would do another event like this in a heartbeat.”
Brown also recommended that students participate in future events to encourage those who suffered during the hurricanes.
“It could all happen just as well to you,” Brown said. “Why not remind them that good people who care still exist? Especially when they lose it all. I would tell other students and encourage them that they would get to change somebody’s life. They would get to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves.”
There will be future opportunities to help with disaster relief on Dec. 15-20 to continue doing Mud Out and possibly begin rebuilding homes.