Students lend a helping hand through community service


Courtesy of Judy Couvillion/The Daily Star

Located at 108 S. Pine St. in Hammond, the Miller Memorial Library Family Resource Center was recently cleaned by members of the Hammond Kiwanis Club and three university students. Through this community service project, the volunteers picked up trash, cleaned up branches and leaves, pressure washed the building and more.

Three university students joined members of the Hammond Kiwanis Club to help clean the grounds of the Miller Memorial Library Family Resource Center, which houses the Tangipahoa Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council.

Every year, Kiwanis International Clubs around the world devote the fourth Saturday in October to working to improve in their communities.

Taylor DeBourg, a senior kinesiology major, Jeannette Jackson, a junior business administration major and Jayla Breaux, a junior political science major, chose to lend a hand in Hammond’s event on Oct. 17.

DeBourg is the president of service organization Circle K International and the Black Student Union, two groups for which she participated in the community service event. She shared three reasons she chose to give back to Hammond through cleaning the grounds of the council’s building.

“Cleaning it up would allow the necessary people to notice it more, utilize the building as a resource and help those in need,” shared DeBourg. “My advisor for the Southeastern Chapter of Circle K International, Ms. Rebecca Abel, told us about the community service event due to it being where she works and serves as the TADAC Programs Manager, and I really wanted to help out in any way that I could to see her and those needing the TADAC building succeed. I love community service, so all that had to be said was where, when and what time.”

DeBourg shared that the experience allowed her to reminisce on memories with family and that it felt good to help other families through community service.

“This experience was amazing, fantastic and humbling,” said DeBourg. “It honestly reminded me of helping my granny clean up the backyard — raking leaves, sweeping, hosing down the shed, etc. However, instead of me helping my own family member, I was able to clean for and help other people’s family within the community.”

Jackson is the secretary for BSU. She shared that she decided to contribute to the community because she enjoys helping and lending a hand.

“I had a great experience,” said Jackson. “Everyone was very nice and came ready to work. I had fun and got to meet a lot of great people.”

According to Breaux, the group spent about two and a half hours cleaning up. She explained why she chose to participate in this project.

“I felt it was time to give back,” expressed Breaux. “The current environment of the world is discouraging, especially with COVID. I just wanted to show my appreciation of life and wellbeing of health and give to those who were not allowed to be there due to pre-existing health issues.”

Breaux is not in either of the organizations, but she is a mentor for Project PULL.

“I just saw this as an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself,” said Breaux.

Breaux expressed enjoyment about the event overall.

“The experience was great,” shared Breaux. “I laughed and worked with some awesome people in the community as well as the Circle K international and Black Student Union. I even saw one of my old biology professors, Sidney Guidry, one of the most coolest and understanding professors on campus.”

DeBourg said she has contributed to several community service events prior to this one, and she feels that every event is a unique and valuable experience.

“I have participated in many clean-ups — hurricane reliefs, school and house rebuildings,” said DeBourg. “However, each time, there is a different experience. No matter who you are helping, the extent of why you are helping is different, which makes the experience even more humbling and worthwhile.”