Chowan students take part in Katrina disaster relief

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 31, 2006

MURFREESBORO – Even though school was out for Christmas, 15 students and staff members from Chowan College headed to New Orleans, LA on a seven-day mission trip.

This trip began on December 14 and proved to be an experience of a lifetime as students assisted with Katrina disaster relief.

Ken Cooke, Campus Minister at Chowan was the leader of the mission trip. Cooke was able to lead two student organizations, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and the Christian Student Union (CSU), as they gutted houses that were infested with mold and mildew.

“Mud-out work is what it’s called,” stated Cooke. “It’s not pretty work, or fun, but a rewarding and eye opening experience for all involved.

Chowan students included Amanda Cothern (Galena, OH), Tracey Eure (Eure, NC), Karhl Grubb (Jacksonville, NC), Wynne Hughes (Colerain, NC), Andrew Jenkins (Franklin, VA), Jennifer Joyner (Franklin, VA), Meredith Krause (Stafford, VA), Christopher Linthicum (Monroe, NC), Stephanie Montague (Virginia Beach, VA), Grace Montoro (Richmond, VA), Lori Powers (Gastonia, NC), Garrett Williams (Fayetteville, NC) and Sabrina Wright (Harrisburg, NC).

Staff members included Jana Holstein and Ken Cooke.

The group stayed at the Brantley Baptist Center, a homeless shelter, in downtown New Orleans.

Grace Montoro was thrilled and inspired by taking the time to help with the Katrina disaster relief. She was also shocked by the fact that lives were turned upside down in a weekend.

“I just hope and pray that help continues. Both physical labor like we did and financial support is needed to rebuild these communities and return these families to some form of normalcy,” stated Montoro.

The group spent their time cleaning out houses that were covered in mold, which made them uninhabitable. Everything, including the walls, had to be removed before reconstruction could begin.

Over $4500 in donations was received from organizations, churches, and individual supporters.

Special thanks goes to West Chowan Baptist Association, Wal-Mart (Ahoskie), and area churches. NAPA Auto parts donated items such as boots, goggles, masks and first aid supplies.

For information on future mission trips, please contact Ken Cooke at or 252-398-6268.