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Calvin Students Partner with CRWRC on Hurricane Assistance
September 2, 2005

Click image to enlarge viewCalvin College students taking part in StreetFest, the college's massive freshmen volunteer project that is part of orientation, will work the phone banks this afternoon for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC).


Natalie Good (Dayton, OH) takes notes while answering a caller's question.

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First-year students monitor phone lines and search the Internet at the CRWRC headquarters.

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Rachel VanZanten (Grand Rapids, MI) and Sarah Althaus, (Gabon, Africa) responding to calls.

The 20-25 students will be at the CRWRC headquarters at 2850 Kalamazoo in Grand Rapids from 1 pm to 3:30 pm today.

Calvin expects that more students will man the phone banks this weekend. The college is using campus-wide communication vehicles including email lists, freshmen orientation groups and more, to spread the word about the opportunity to contribute to the nationwide hurricane assistance effort now underway.

Calvin also is forming plans to work with other area relief agencies and is planning longer-term hurricane relief efforts, including such things as sites for its 2006 spring break service trips. The school also is finalizing plans to help students from Gulf Coast colleges and universities who have been displaced by the hurricane.

For now it is adding immediate assistance to the CRWRC efforts. The CRWRC says that with Hurricane Katrina it is "responding to a level of disaster we have not seen in our history."

CRWRC director Andy Ryskamp adds: "Normal system processes that worked in other situations don't work for this one. It is both a challenge and an opportunity."

The CRWRC plans to raise $5 million for hurricane relief.

Money donated to CRWRC will help deploy rapid response teams to get needs quickly assessed, clean up debris, purchase building materials and repair homes, and provide funding for long-term reconstruction in those areas hardest hit.