Baylor students dedicate Spring Break to disaster relief

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 20, 2022

This story was written by Lexi Nitishin, student news writer for Baylor University Media and Public Relations. To see the full story, please visit


LAPLACE — Over Baylor University’s spring break, Baylor Missions sent two teams of students, who combined service with their faith to help with ongoing clean up and rebuilding efforts in Mayfield, Kentucky, and LaPlace, Louisiana, two communities devastated in 2021 by natural disasters.

In addition, students in the Baylor School of Education traveled to Costa Rica to continue their longtime partnership with schools in the rural community of Santa Elena.

In the spring, as universities and communities around the country loosened their COVID-19 restrictions, Baylor Missions returned to in-person mission trips, which allowed students to better connect with those in affected communities and work towards their shared goals.

“There is nothing that can replace the experience of in-person service. There is a bond that is formed between those in need and those serving,” said Kentucky trip leader Rebecca Kennedy, M.B.A., assistant dean for missions and public life and associate chaplain at Baylor.

Through Baylor Missions, students are provided opportunities to connect their academic disciplines, strengths and passions in service to Christ and the world.

LaPlace, about 30 miles northwest of New Orleans, was pummeled in late August by Hurricane Ida. One of the hardest-hit areas in Louisiana, the community is still feeling the effect of the storm. The 35-member Baylor student team partnered with other organizations to help rebuilding efforts of homes and community centers, worked in neighborhoods to remove trash, tree limbs and debris and removed drywall and trim work to clear the way for rebuilding.

Additionally, Baylor students cleaned and reorganized a local church’s distribution center to prepare it for reopening. The team also held a diaper distribution day, which provided access to much-needed childcare supplies for community members.

“This trip raised awareness of the encompassing devastation that natural disasters can have on a community that many don’t often think about. However, getting to help the homeowners and church and community members reminded each of us of what it looks like to ‘love your neighbor’ and how resilient people are when they are in community,” said Louisiana trip leaders Sarah Nelson, assistant director for missions and public life, and Codie Robinson, project coordinator for missions and public life.