Destination of Spring Break Trip is Announced


Media by Dan Ramsey

Working in the Houston Food Bank, students pack bags with water and food for those hurt by Hurricane Harvey. Students spent hours making care packages for those affected by the hurricane. “The work was long and hard,” Andrews said. “But in the end, it was totally worth it.”

MHS has decided to go to Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach, Fla., from March 16 to March 21, for its annual Spring Break Service trip to help communities recently affected by natural disasters.

Dr. Dan Ramsey, senior principal, is in charge of planning each service trip. Last year, he chose Houston, TX, but he has also chosen cities in Florida, Michigan, Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois in the past because of their need after natural disasters.

“We did recovery work because of the hurricane in Houston,” Dr. Ramsey said. “We did mucking, rebuilding, clean up projects, work in the Houston Food Bank to help families that were still struggling and work in a school that had been damaged.”  

Katherine Andrews, junior, attended the Houston trip.

Taking a break from rebuilding the woman’s home, a group of boys embrace. They were gone from Saturday until Thursday traveling, exploring, and helping. “It was crazy to see all these students come together to help repair the damage done,” said Dr. Ramsey. “Students were helping in ways they didn’t know they could, which was so amazing.”

“I really enjoyed getting to meet new people and experience new environments,” Andrews said. “Everyone there was super nice and extremely grateful for our help.”

Andrews helped rebuild and clean out a woman’s home, which was destroyed in the hurricane, while many others were assigned to work on gardening and landscaping the home’s yard. 

“I really felt like I was able to help these people out in their time of need, and it made me feel good,” Andrews said. “I am planning to go help again this year because I loved giving back and all the experiences and people were so fun and new.”

Quinton Williams, sophomore, went last year as a freshman and enjoyed not only helping the community, but also exploring Houston.

“I was assigned to gardening and landscaping, so I helped clean up the yard from all the damage,” Williams said. “I really enjoyed helping out, but I also enjoyed exploring the city and doing new activities, especially the rodeo.”

Williams also plans on volunteering again this year because he really enjoyed the trip last year. He would also recommend it to students, as it is a lot of fun and inexpensive.

The cost of all meals, lodging, transportation and activities is about $400 with the opportunity for financial aid. There is only 220 spots open for students this year.

“We chose Florida this year because it was just hit by hurricane Michael and many uninsured families need help with restoring their properties,” Dr. Ramsey said. “In addition, the city needs help to beautify their destroyed local parks, community centers and the downtown area.”

Many of the 120 students last year posing with the woman they helped on last year’s trip to Houston. They rebuilt and cleaned the interior and exterior of her home. “The woman was so kind to us while we helped, and was also super appreciative of all we did,” Williams said.

Work is completed over the course of three days. One day will be spent working on reconstructing homes in Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach, another working on the island rebuilding living shorelines, and the last cleaning the debris out of the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve, an area that helps protect the bay’s water quality, natural productivity and critical habitats.

The students will only work for three days, but the entire trip is five nights to allow students a full experience. Dr. Ramsey has helped plan a lot of beach time and other fun activities, such as a traditional seafood boil. Last year, students experienced a rodeo, concert and ghost tour among other unique activities.

“I recommend the trip because it’s a lot of fun and an opportunity to learn about things you never knew you could do; such as, dry walling and rebuilding living shorelines,” Dr. Ramsey said. “People who have never dry walled anything were building whole walls, and it was my favorite thing to see what students were able to accomplish, especially when they don’t even realize they are capable of it.” 

The service trip has been very popular in previous years, as the limited space quickly fills up with students that want to enjoy spring break by giving back.

“The trip is a great way to hang out with friends, explore new places, see new things, and interact with different people” Dr. Ramsey said. “It is going to be a really neat and students are going to feel like their work is meaningful, so sign up before it sells out.”