1/18/2023 Gregory L. Wright

‘Need Is Everywhere’: Students, Faculty Help Rebuild Home in F&M's Backyard

Nine Franklin & Marshall students and 13 of the College’s faculty, staff, friends and alumni spent the last week of winter break helping to repair and restore a home in Lancaster City.

Organized by F&M’s Catastrophic Relief Alliance (CRA), the campus crew worked at a Manor Street property, framing, drywalling and doing electrical work. The effort was in concert with Impact Missions, a Lancaster organization that repairs structures for low-income families so they can stay in their homes.

“The Catastrophic Relief Alliance started 17 years ago after Hurricane Katrina,” said Andy Gulati, F&M science librarian and CRA adviser. “We usually travel to areas of the Gulf Coast like New Orleans and Houson to rebuild homes affected by natural disasters, but last March, due to health and travel restrictions brought on by COVID-19, we had our first local rebuilding effort. Need is everywhere, even in our own backyard, and CRA is excited to help.”

  • F&M’s Catastrophic Relief Alliance (CRA) receive a tour and brief history of the property they worked on. F&M’s Catastrophic Relief Alliance (CRA) receive a tour and brief history of the property they worked on. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • CRA Volunteers Tour Home Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • 01 09 cra 34 dg Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • CRA volunteers remove garbage and debris from the property so that reconstruction work can begin. CRA volunteers remove garbage and debris from the property so that reconstruction work can begin. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • 01 09 cra 08 dg Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • 01 09 cra 12 dg Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • 01 09 cra 22 dg Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • CRA volunteers. CRA volunteers. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • CRA volunteers get to work rehabilitating the property. CRA volunteers get to work rehabilitating the property. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • 01 11 cra 11 dg Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • 01 11 cra 19 dg Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • 01 11 cra 14 dg Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • 01 11 cra 21 dg Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • 01 11 cra 16 dg Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • 01 11 cra 24 dg Image Credit: Deb Grove

One CRA volunteer was Mark Ma, a sophomore from Vista, Calif., who is double majoring in business, organizations & society and cognitive science. “I’ve always had a passion for building things; I started building models when I was 6,” he said. “I’m also passionate about helping other people. I thought, ‘Why not combine the two and build something that helps other people?’”

Gulati notes that the group’s next effort will be this March during spring break. The volunteers will travel to Paradise, Calif., working with Mennonite Disaster Services in an area recovering from 2018’s Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history.

 
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