Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 6, 2012

The Crossing students help clear tornado-ravaged town

ELKHART — Students and staff with the Crossing Educational Center of Elkhart put their personal plans aside this past weekend to lend some much-needed aid to the tornado-ravaged town of Marysville in southern Indiana.

According to Elkhart Crossing Executive Director Rob Staley, 14 students and five staff members from the Elkhart Crossing campus took part in the two-day disaster relief effort.

“The Crossing believes in serving, and so when we see that there are people in need, whether it be in this local community or any place in the state, we want to serve them,” Staley said of why he decided to set up the volunteer trip. “Our kids were really excited about taking the trip, so we sent out a tweet and asked if anybody wanted to go, and our kids fired back, and we rallied a crowd in probably less than 10 hours. We had no idea where we were going to stay, what we were going to do, where we were going to work, but we just went.”

Fueled by their desire to serve, the hastily gathered group quickly packed their gear, hopped into a Crossing van at 5:30 a.m. Sunday and settled in for the four-hour journey to Henryville — the group’s original destination.

“We got there at about 11:30 a.m., but we couldn’t get through, so they sent us over to Marysville,” Staley said. “When we arrived in Marysville, there was a Red Cross tent set up, and they pointed us toward a bunch of people who needed help, and we got right to work. Then (Monday) we hooked up with a volunteer group called the Sheep Dogs, who are a bunch of retired Marines that go out and volunteer their time, and worked with them for most of the day.”

A majority of the group’s time during the relief trip was spent clearing downed trees with chainsaws and clearing brush to allow residents to gain access to their tornado-battered homes and properties.

“When we got there, the devastation was just unimaginable,” Staley said. “There’s just nothing left. We spent the entire time just running chainsaws and pulling brush. And I’m not talking just a few houses down. I mean everything’s wiped off the ground. So the kids were working like bees the whole time, just pulling brush and cutting down trees as fast as they could.”

Cory Crisler, a senior at the Elkhart Crossing, was among the 14 students to make the trip to Marysville over the weekend.

“It looked like a war zone,” Crisler said of seeing Marysville for the first time Sunday afternoon. “Peoples’ houses were cut in half, and then right across the road there’d be a house that was still standing. It was just hard to imagine so much destruction. I’ll never forget it.”

The students and staff worked non-stop from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, then slept overnight at a local lodge before rising bright and early at 7 a.m. Monday to pick up where they left off.

“We were up at 7 a.m., had a brief family time together, ate breakfast and then took off for the field at about 8 a.m. and worked until 1 p.m.,” Staley said. “After that, we got something to eat, and then we packed up our gear and headed home.”

While in Marysville, Staley said he was continually impressed by the positive attitudes and sense of community shown by the town’s residents, even in the face of such overwhelming destruction.

“They are in shock, obviously, although like in every tragic situation, they’re rallying together, and there was even a little humor evident from time to time,” Staley said. “But it’s pretty sad at the same time, because they’re all now in the stage of picking through everything, and you’d just see these individuals picking through the wreckage that used to be their homes, just trying to find what valuables they can. And for many of them, there’s just simply nothing left.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • GN140423 Wakarusa Musical 3 'A Kid's Life' portrays sudden techno loss WAKARUSA — The young people of our present day society don’t remember ever having lived their lives without some element of electronic gadgetry becoming involved. For them, it would be difficult to fathom the possibility of a world “off the grid.” So the fourth- and fifth-grade students of Wakarusa Elementary School will offer a comedic and chaotic interpretation of such a dilemma with their upcoming musical “A Kid’s Life.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 stress relief 03 Furry pals help GC students with dog days of finals GOSHEN - Goshen College students took a break from preparing for final exams to hangout with some four-legged friends Monday afternoon.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 FF spring play_3547 Fairfield students to present Oscar Wilde classic BENTON — Fairfield’s musicals and plays have recently left their status as an extracurricular activity and come under the wing of the Performing Arts Department and under the direction of Andrew Muth.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Sheriff Brad Rogers_0657 Sheriff travels to Nev. ranch in fed dispute Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers has weighed in on a controversy surrounding a Nevada rancher, and visited the scene of the struggle.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140209 snow storm 05 Elkhart, LaGrange counties denied FEMA aid GOSHEN — Elkhart and LaGrange counties were not among the 19 Indiana counties that had financial aid approved Tuesday by FEMA for a January winter storm.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup BASEBALL Falcons garner road win The Fairfield Falcons posted a 5-4 victory Tuesday evening at Rochester. Dustin Everage (three innings), Andrew Bobeck (three) and Austin Christner (one) pitched for the winners. Everage struck out three to earn the

    April 23, 2014

  • Akela.jpg SLIDESHOW: Pets of the Week Available cats and dogs at the Humane Society of Elkhart County. These loving animals are looking for permanent homes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN0423 BC IN Common Core Indiana panel approves new school standards

    A panel of Indiana business and education leaders were met with boos and jeers from attendees after they voted overwhelmingly Monday to support new math and English standards set to replace the Common Core in classrooms this fall.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The week in photos

    April 22, 2014

  • GN140421 board of works BOARD OF WORKS: Properties deemed uninhabitable

    Repairs still need to be made to two Goshen properties that had been targeted by the city Board of Public Works and Safety.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs