NWC group to assist tornado victims

Twenty-four Northwestern College faculty, staff and students will spend two days in Parkersburg, Iowa, helping to clean up debris following the May 25 tornado that destroyed over 200 homes and killed four people.

The family of a Northwestern student, Carrie Manifold, lost their home in the tornado. A week after the storm hit, she left for a previously scheduled Summer of Service project in Bahrain through the Reformed Church in America.

Manifold’s home church, First Congregational, will house and help feed the Northwestern group while they’re in Parkersburg from Sunday night, June 22, until Tuesday night, June 24. The Northwestern contingent will be led by Tommy Moon, director of missions, and Barb Dewald, associate dean of spiritual formation.

“Our goal is to provide help for people who have lost everything,” says Marlon Haverdink, Northwestern’s director of service learning, who has coordinated the project. “We want to serve them and give them some hope in the midst of a very devastating situation.”

Northwestern, which was named to the 2007 and 2006 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, has a long tradition of engaging in community service and sending students, faculty and staff on service projects around the country and globally. Groups have provided assistance to Gulf Coast residents every winter and spring break since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.