Liberty University students head to South Carolina to aid Hurricane Matthew victims

By C Craig

LYNCHBURG (WSLS10) - Flooding from Hurricane Matthew caused billions of dollars in damages to tens of thousands of homes and businesses along the Southeast Coast. In some areas, floodwaters have not yet receded, meaning the financial impact continues to grow. Now, some local students are sending help to affected families in South Carolina.

One by one a group of liberty university students load the bus. Keys in the ignition, the group is ready to hit the road to Myrtle Beach.

It's all excitement now, but these students know a grueling week of physical work awaits them once they arrive to help with Hurricane Matthew clean up.

"We work on a neighborhood of houses for a week, we gut those out and just get them ready for the rebuild phase," said organizer Mrogan Ulmer.

"Definitely a lot of physical labor is involved in what we do," commented Liberty junior Alysha Laperche.

Laperche told us this is her third relief trip with the university and Samaritan's Purse.

Packing lightly, Laperche and others are ready for the week ahead.

"We sleep on the floor in a church and so, we have a sleeping mat and a sleeping bag and we take showers in a truck," said Ulmer.

All agree the short term sacrifice of life as they know it is well worth helping others in need that now face major losses from the hurricane.

"It is challenging to do disaster relief and getting to do it together definitely bonds a team together," said Laperche.

From experience Laperche said working side by side with other students and homeowners creates an unbreakable friendship.

"It's so special of a connection that is when you're serving alongside them at such a hard point in their lives that it just really makes a deep relationship," said Laperche.

But, before they started of their journey, hand in hand, the group recited a prayer – hoping to answer the prayers of others.

The group of students will return next Saturday.

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