Local kids make good

Our diocesan youth ministry earned a little ink in the KidsPost section of The Washington Post this morning. The story focuses on area kids who participated in the recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina. Here is the relevant excerpt:

“About 30 kids from the Episcopal Diocese of Washington spent their spring break in Gulfport, Mississippi, and Bayou La Batre, Alabama — two towns hit hard by Katrina.

They helped rebuild a church. They unloaded trucks filled with donated furniture. They interviewed displaced residents about their needs.

Rockville’s Jack Stonesifer, 14, found the damage ‘pretty surprising.’

‘There were some casinos on the beach — one of the major ways the town [Gulfport] gets money — and a lot of them were totally demolished,’ he said, ‘and a church where the entire thing was wiped out.’

He also was struck by the size of the trailers the federal government supplied to some who lost their homes: ‘There were four people [in a space] barely as big as your room. And some people have to live there for months. That amazed a lot of us.’

Kelly Crabtree, who lives in the District, helped in a couple of ways. First, her family adopted a 3-year-old terrier, Sadie, who had been rescued in New Orleans, Louisiana. Then Kelly signed up for the Episcopal Diocese trip ‘because I thought it was the best way to help. It’s hard to send money when you’re only 14.’

Her tasks included shopping for supplies, unloading trucks of furniture and painting a church.

Said Kelly: ‘A woman at the church told us, ‘I can’t tell you how grateful I am. I’d give you the moon if I could.’ I was so happy we could help them.’ ”

Jack is from Christ Church, Rockville. Kelly is from St. Columba’s. Three cheers for them, for the other 28 kids on these mission trips, and for Paul Canady, the diocesan deputy for youth.

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