Despite Hurricane Irma causing damages just days ago, residents who live near Dreher Park claim that the park is in the best condition that it has ever been in, with some living close by for almost fifty years.
On Sept. 15 and 16, PBA students spent their morning cleaning debris that Hurricane Irma left behind.
During their final days off from school, students could have occupied their time by resting, or doing something other than cleaning, but instead they felt the need to help their community.
For Cing Lun, freshman and biology major, making time to help the community was important even though the hurricane left her needing help as well. Being that she had to go without power for a period of time, which is a necessity, she understood that some people would have to go without a park they use on a daily basis.
Caprece Ximines, freshman and nursing major, believed that all her hard work paid off, because not only did she receive community service hours, but she was also able to bond with other students while beautifying the park.
“it was an experience different from staying home” Ximines said.
According to Rhonda Barona, recreational manager for the City of West Palm Beach, cleaning up Dreher Park is one of the biggest projects that the city has had to tackle. City employees and volunteers have been working together to clear debris and fix damages since the day after the storm.
“Dreher Park alone had over 600 trees down, including some of those trees being several hundred-year-old banyan trees. One of those trees actually fell on one of our bathroom buildings, so we’ve lost that building” Barona said.
Because of all the help, cleanup should be complete the following week.
Completing by a term of AmeriCorps service after Hurricane Katrina, Kate Magro, director of the Workship community service program at PBA, is aware of how destructive a hurricane can be.
According to Magro, the three goals of Workship are to help identify human needs and then take Christ-like action to meet those needs, practice vocational discernment, and practice life-long habits of service.
Even though cleaning up hurricane debris is not necessarily vocational discernment, Magro believes it is still a Christ-like action.
“I’m just really impressed with PBA students, that they’re so willing to serve right away. This is way more than just Workship hours. You can tell that service is just deep in their core” Magro said.