Ala. students help rebuild in Houston while disaster strikes their campus

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College students from Alabama are spending their spring break in Houston to help rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.

“This is the way that we can show love to [Harvey victims] and what’s really important," said Katelyn Bowles, a junior enrolled at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Ala. "Besides, like, we don’t need a spring break and they need homes fixed.”

A group of 24 JSU students signed up for the service project organized by the national organization Send Relief and Bayou City Fellowship Church.

The students arrived in Houston over the weekend. On Monday, their campus was devastated when a tornado tore through.

“So, my apartment complex, there were two buildings that were completely ruined,” said Hayden Washbourn, a sophomore student.

Bowles also said some of the building where she attends classes suffered major damage including where she has four classes during the spring semester.

Despite the devastation at home, the JSU students decided to stay in Houston.

“We started a task here and we knew we had to get it done,” added Washbourn.

They said all of this goes to show you need to pay it forward because you never know when you’ll be the one in need.

“These students have a dedication for what they say they’re going to do and follow through with what they’re doing," said Peggy Colbert with Send Relief. "So, it makes you very proud and very humble to work with them.”

The students will return to Alabama by Saturday. They said they’ll be getting to work in their own community as soon as they return to Jacksonville, Ala.

“We’re going to come home with our boots on and work pants still on, ready to get there and start cleaning up,” concluded Bowles.