A group of students from the DeVos Sports Business Management program recenly returned from a service trip to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. One student reflects on his experience there:
"Humbling to say the least. When you think you've got it bad, you don't have to look too far to see that you should reconsider. My eyes can't lie, nor will they deny the images stained forever in my mind. A toy doll, once held by a beautiful little girl, lay face down in the mud cast hundreds of yards on the edge of a lake. A large oak tree, once providing shade for a family of four during summer days, lay on its side, pinned between a bedroom and kitchen of what was once that family's home. On an acre of land lay the foundation of what used to be someone's home, easily accessible, as no door nor wall stands to keep its structure. The images that I witnessed over the holiday continue to convince me that disaster has no bias. Rich or poor, black or white --when disaster strikes, it holds nothing back and takes whatever it wants. Our presence brought smiles to the faces of those who needed to smile. The stories that were shared were stories of courage, fearlessness and a will to never give up. The people of Tuscaloosa love their town and will continue to rebuild. They will build better than what they had built before. They will use the painful memories of yesterday to propel themselves forward and become a stronger community. The people of Tuscaloosa still welcomed us with open arms, they still greeted us with a southern smile and showed us to some good ol' southern cooking. And, amidst it all, they show their Bama Football Pride as the Alabama Crimson Tide face-off against the LSU Tigers in the BCS National Championship! Who said sport doesn't play a major role in our lives?!"
Hope For Stanley Coordinator