The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Next Generation

March 10, 2010

Students of SRCA come to the aid of community in need

CONNEAUT — The devastation of Haiti, seen at a distance, recently became an up close and personal reality to members of a South Ridge mission team. Their objective while there was to assist an orphanage by doing carpentry, plumbing, painting and computer repair.

“The Haiti mission trip was a huge success,” said junior Micah Rzeszutek. “I enjoyed every second of it!”

Mission teams from South Ridge have gone to Haiti every two years since 1998. However, this year’s mission was even more vital because of the recent earthquake. Thanks to the generosity of the community and those at South Ridge the team left for Cap Haitian, Haiti, on Feb. 21 with more than three tons of medical supplies, food and other humanitarian aid.

“After we arrived at the airport we were worried about the customs costs because people in front of us were being charged outrageous prices for small amounts of baggage,” said Rzeszutek. “When it was our turn, a U.S. soldier came in and told the customs manager that we were not to be charged a cent because it was a humanitarian act. We were relieved and thrilled that we would be able to give the money set aside for customs to the orphanage.”

The team returned safely home on March 3 upon successful completion of their mission.

“I had mixed emotions about leaving the orphans but it was really nice to be finally home,” said Rzeszutek. “It was shocking to see the conditions they were living in after the earthquake. It made me thankful for what we take for granted in America. I was also grateful to be a small part in helping that country.”

Many hands made light work at a recent “wood day” organized by Robert Fralic.

“Wood day was a great way for us to help our community,” said seventh grader Mark Emus. “Mrs. (Marjorie) Phillips, a widow, was running out of wood to heat her home. Coach Fralic asked students from South Ridge to help split and stack wood for her. It felt good to reach out and help someone else.”

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