Tabor officials consider Katrina response

Tabor College administrators met last week to discuss ways in which the college community could assist in the Mississippi Delta relief efforts brought on by Hurricane Katrina.

President Larry Nikkel, in a memo to employees and students, outlined a tentative five-point plan to serve those affected by the recent devastation.

“We would ask that the campus community dedicate itself to pray for the victims of the hurricane and for those whose task it is to confront the devastation left in its path,” Nikkel said.

In addition, he urged the campus to pray for those whose loved ones are unaccounted for or have died, for the health and wellbeing of those who lost all possessions, for those whose emotional devastation may be hidden and for wisdom.

Prayers will be offered at worship services, including the student-led Share, Prayer & Dare, the upcoming Bible conference and other places.

The second action Nikkel urged the Tabor community to undertake was finding opportunities to serve locally. Representatives from Golden Heritage Foods, Hillsboro, will be invited to campus to inform the community how and when volunteers may be needed to collect and transport goods to the affected areas.

Last week, Tabor College Wichita served as a collection site for bottled water in partnership with Clear Channel Communications and the American Red Cross.

Third, various suggestions have been made regarding fund-raising. Free-will offerings could occur at athletic and other campus events.

There is some interest among students to take immediate trips to theaffected area, and “we will want to support service trips,” said Nikkel.

However, he believes the people would be served best in the South if planning and coordination was done with an agency specializing in disaster relief so more effective work could be completed.

Service trips could occur during fall break, Christmas break, interterm, spring break or next summer.

Finally, Tabor could extend an invitation to displaced college students. Up to 24 beds could be filled with students if necessary, but communication will occur between Tabor and the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities to determine the actual need.

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