– Four Florida Tech students just returned from Louisiana where they delivered a 16-foot flatboat they purchased in Mississippi, to the New Orleans Fire
Department for rescue use. They also brought 11,000 lbs. of supplies to a needy Louisiana parish near Baton Rouge. CNN covered the story, featuring two of
the students live on a Sunday morning show.
Though discouraged by their university advisors and friends to make the journey, the students, Manoj Srivastava, of Sierra Leone and Dayton, Ohio;
Wachindra Bandara, of Sri Lanka; Keith Credo, of Kenner, La., and Jenny Frembling, of Atherton, Calif., drove to a small town in Mississippi, bought the
boat and rented a U-Haul truck.
They met up with the Mississippi counterpart to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The agency gave them the 11,000 lbs. of supplies-primarily
food, water and clothes- to deliver and phoned ahead to find the most appropriate Louisiana recipient. The rescue organization then sent the students off
to Louisiana, boat in tow, with an armed escort.
“They absolutely needed the supplies. The emergency center where we dropped off the load had just about run out of everything when we got there,” said
Of special interest is that Sri Lankan Bandar was saddened and frustrated last December, when he could not get home to help during the tsunamis. Also,
graduate student Credo, a graduate of Tulane, wanted to help his fellow Louisianans.
The students pooled their own money to complete the mission.