After spending three weeks in Gulport, Miss. to help with the clean up and rebuilding effort of homes that were damaged as a result of Hurricane Katrina, 18-year-old Kevin Ganderton of Kirkwood said he couldn't wait to go back and do it again.
"It was a good experience," said the 2005 Solanco High School graduate, who left to go back to Gulfport on Christmas day. "There was a lot of tragedy. A lot of places were really torn up."
Ganderton, who lives with his parents Roy and Cherie Ganderton in Octorara Pines, has worked for Paul Risk Associates in Quarryville as a carpenter's helper since Septemeber. He went to Gulfport Oct. 13 until Nov. 1 with other Paul Risk employees on a trip organized by Paul and Shirley Risk.
"I did a lot of roofing and taking shingles off of homes," he said. "We took a tree off one roof and patched up the roof."
On the first trip, Ganderton was one of seven people from the area who volunteered to go to Gulfport, including safety director Tim Campbell and Dave Miller of Chestnut Level Presbyterian Church in Quarryville.
While in Gulfport, Ganderton said he worked from 7 a.m. to about 5 or 6 p.m. each day taking shingles off roofs and patching them. He worked on a church and two homes, installing drywall.
"A lot of people are leaving down there because they don't want to rebuild," he said.
Ganderton helped to train and supervise a group of students from the University of Tennessee that came to volunteer with the clean up efforts. He said he had them on the roof helping to tear off shingles.
The workers stayed in two RVs that the Risks had there. Shirley Risk cooked their meals and Ganderton said, "She treated us like her kids down there."
"We were really successful," he said. "I was happy to help out."