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Using Vacation for Disaster Relief


Margaret Van Oord has participated in 21 disaster-response work trips, but her most recent one was extra special.

Julia VanOord helps her father, Dirk, on a DRS trip to Mississippi.

Margaret and her husband, Dick, members of Fredericton Christian Reformed Church, New Brunswick, spent a week with all their adult children and their spouses in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. With the exception of one infant, the grandchildren stayed at home.  

“It made for a unique and unusual week,” Margaret said. “The family bonding was unforgettable.”

The family’s trip was part of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee’s Disaster Response Service (DRS). CRWRC-DRS has been doing clean up in some of the lower-income areas hit by Hurricane Katrina.

The Van Oords cleaned and did electrical work, carpentry, painting, and foundation work as part of their trip.

Van Oord said she recommends making DRS a family affair to other families.

“To spend a week with our five children and in-laws—it doesn’t get any better than that!”

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