Teens Return from Mississippi

December 31, 2005 -- Posted at 5:13 p.m. CST


JONESBORO, AR -- A group of Region 8 teenagers give up a part of their holiday vacation to help those less fortunate than they are. 


Each year “Youth in action” is held in Jonesboro. But this year they left town and traveled to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to help with the cleanup after Hurricane Katrina.


“Youth in Action -- it needed to be Youth in Action -- and I think it was very important for us to see that need and to go help those who needed it,” said Andy Dean.


And that's exactly what happened.  A group of teens from all over the mid south gathered to help cleanup the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina.


“It really did put our youth in action which is what we're meant to do and it really showed our teenagers a different side of life that they haven't really experienced before,” said Sarah Hackney.


“While I was there I got to help Ms. Kim.  We got to help, of course, clean her yard and move everything from what looks like a bunch of junk and organize it a little bit for her,” said Dean.  A little bit that meant a lot, “We saw tears streaming down her face just picking up her yard.”


“There were about 700 people -- teens and adults-- helping with everything,” said Dean.


The teens say that going down to volunteer their time is something that they will always remember.   “It was showing them that we still care and that we still love them and that we will be there,” said Dean.


How has this experience changed these teens as well as Youth in Action?


“Ii think that Youth in Action will never be the same again and I think that we will always go to different areas now and really use our talent and our gift to help other people,” said Hackney, “Because that's what God really calls us to do is to help others.”


A calling they were happy to answer.


“I think the kids really took away a lot more than what we gave the people,” Hackney said.