Groups to serve in Gulf Coast over Christmas break

Twenty-five Northwestern students, staff and alumni will begin their Christmas vacations with service projects in the Gulf Coast from Dec. 15 to 22.

A dozen students will serve in New Orleans under the direction of Rebecca James, Northwestern’s Americorps Vista volunteer coordinator. Partnering with Trinity Christian Community and Lisa DeWaay, a 2007 Northwestern alumna, the team will be renovating houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in the Hollygrove neighborhood, located in the 14th Ward of New Orleans.

“There’s much to be done yet,” says Dave Nonnemacher, Northwestern’s director of the Lilly Grant and experiential learning, “and we need to do something. This is a great opportunity to think of others and serve with our hands and hearts.”

Nonnemacher and 11 others from Northwestern will serve in Jackson, Miss., teaming with the John Perkins Foundation to rebuild homes. Perkins himself will be present, leading devotions for the group.

This is the third year in a row for Northwestern’s campus ministry office to coordinate Christmas Gulf Coast trips. During the spring breaks of 2006 and 2007, several trips were also made to the Gulf Coast for cleanup efforts.