Georgia college students provide hurricane assistance

Published 4:07 am Wednesday, October 20, 2004

By Staff
Staff Report
On Sept. 24, 18 students from Young Harris College (YHC) in north Georgia and three faculty/staff members boarded the Young Harris College bus headed for Brewton to assist those hit hard by Hurricane Ivan.
The trip was organized by Deborah Courtney, YHC's director of aquatics. Courtney is the daughter of Jimmy Courtney of Brewton.
The College's president, Dr. Stephen Gunter, met the group in Atlanta to offer his encouragement, prayers for safe travel, and inspirational words about serving others.
The group arrived in Brewton around midnight and set up in Alco Baptist Church. The relief team was fortunate to have a place with electricity, as much of Brewton was still without power.
By 7 a.m. the next morning, the students had eaten breakfast, divided into three groups, and were ready to work. The first group began cleaning up around the church while a second group went across the street to work in a deacon's yard.
After about an hour, when YHC's dean of students Don Heins returned to the church to refill his chain saw, he commented that the young woman at that house was surprised and very appreciative of the help.
After meeting with the young lady, she told the students that she was lying in bed, praying that the huge tree in her backyard would not continue to fall because it would land on her house. At that time, her dog started barking, which alerted her to the workers in her yard.
She immediately called her mother and said, "Mom, there are angels in my yard!" That was just the beginning of many wonderful surprises throughout the weekend.
Faculty, staff and students taking part in the hurricane assistance trip were: Brad Brettschneider; Meagan Carter; Jessie Collins; Deborah Courtney, YHC Professor of Physical Education &Aquatics; Seth Eberhart; Jacqueline Frazer; Beth Green; Aimee Hall; Tiffani Harcrow; Brad Heins; Don Heins, YHC Dean of Students; Brenda Hull, YHC Professor of Biology; Chip Knox; Stephanie Mangum; Emilie Mannheim; Marjorie Miller; Roberta Pelarigo; Mallory Stallings; Jamie Townsend; Kathryn Ulmer; and Ben Wilkinson. We extend our thanks to Dr. Stephen Gunter for his support of this program and to Tim Bryant, Director of Leadership and Volunteer Services, who provided funding for the bus and some of the supplies.
The Young Harris group would also like to thank the following groups for making their project in Brewton possible:
Young Harris is an academically selective two-year liberal arts residential college located in the north Georgia mountains, approximately two hours northeast of Atlanta. For more information on Young Harris College, visit or call 800-241-3754.

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