Inland Empire News
University of Redlands students spend spring break helping rebuild tornado-ravaged Missouri town
REDLANDS, Calif. (KABC) -- Spring break is usually a chance for college students to get away and go somewhere tropical. But some local co-eds had something different in mind. Sure they got away, but they headed for the heartland for a spring break they'll never forget.
It took less than an hour for a tornado to destroy the town of Joplin, Missouri in May 2011. Almost a year later, it is still a disaster zone.
"It's been nine months since it happened and there is still so much work that needs to be done," said Joseph DiMartino, a University of Redlands student.
Joseph DiMartino is one of 16 University of Redlands students who paid to spend their spring break helping in the cleanup effort in Joplin. The group hauled away rubble, demolished crumbling buildings and helped rebuild homes.
"It was hard to be completely ready to see all of that, but once you got there you thought, 'Let's go to work. Let's roll up our sleeves and get out there and really try to make a difference while we're here,'" said student Andrew Pavlov.
At the University of Redlands, students are required to complete 80 hours of community service before graduating, but for these students those hours were already completed when they left for their trip to Joplin.
"When it comes to recruiting students to do service or to go on trip like this that doesn't ever seem to be the challenging part," said Erin Sanborn, associate director of Community Service Learning at the university. "Sometimes I feel like it's finding enough for them to do."
Sanborn says students logged more than 880 hours during their eight-day stay. It's a spring break week that students say will stay with them for a lifetime.
"It's nice that because we're able to go in, everyone recognized that we were giving up our spring break, but the funny thing is that I feel like to all us it wasn't giving up anything. It was getting more," said student Cara Swearingen.
tornado, school, inland empire news, leticia juarez
- Delivery man fatally shot in South Los Angeles
- Westlake High coach accused of sex with teen
- Yucaipa High teacher accused of sex with teen 48 min ago
- 2 boys molested at different South Bay parks
- Del Taco customers charged thousands for meal
- Man's body found in vehicle in San Bernardino 34 min ago
- LA Times building threat: Man detained by LAPD
- FBI seeks '76 murder suspect, possibly in SoCal
- Earthquake strikes off Papua New Guinea
- abcnews: Eclectic early summer festivals
- SKorean sunken ferry captain, 2 crew arrested
- 13th body pulled following Everest avalanche
- Rooney to be buried at Hollywood Forever 8 min ago
- OTRC: Miley Cyrus postpones whole tour