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Volunteers sought for cleanup at New Orleans Seminary

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary will launch a major volunteer cleanup initiative Oct. 31, giving Southern Baptists an opportunity to assist with the restoration and renewal of on-campus housing at NOBTS.

Bob and Linda Jackson, new directors of the seminary’s MissionLab program, will coordinate the initiative which will involve scheduling 50 volunteers per week from Oct. 31 until the job is finished.

“God has put before us a task too big for us, but not too big for Him,” Bob Jackson said. “Southern Baptists have an opportunity to come bring the message of love to the city of New Orleans.”

Jackson said the enemy is busy at work in New Orleans –- Bourdon Street is already open for business. Jackson hopes Christian volunteers will help the seminary get back to campus as soon as possible to be witness in the city.

Volunteers will assist in a comprehensive cleanup and restoration of all second- and third-floor apartments on campus. The seminary’s insurance will only reimburse NOBTS for restoration work on the contaminated first floors of campus residences. These first-floor apartments, contaminated with mold and mildew, are currently being professionally sanitized and restored.

The plan includes three phases: cleanup of remaining items in apartments; cleaning and repainting; and restoring apartment flooring.

During Phase One, volunteers will conduct walk-throughs of every upper-floor apartment. Items left behind by students after the recent campus move-out Oct. 5-9 will be removed.

This first phase also will include a sorting of items left behind. Any items discarded by students that may be deemed salvageable will be gathered and placed in storage in future hopes of helping others in the New Orleans area as repopulation begins.

Phase Two will include a thorough cleaning and painting of all upper-floor apartment units. The seminary will supply the cleaning supplies and painting equipment used by volunteers

Phase Three will conclude the initiative with the refinishing of floors and final cleanup, with the goal of each unit being ready for habitation as the fall 2006 semester begins.

NOBTS will provide two meals per day and drinking water for volunteers. A sleeping area also be provided, but volunteers must bring bedding, towels, a daily change of clothes (washers and dryers are not available) and breakfast snacks.

Volunteers must be 18 and older and insurance is required. The seminary has arranged an insurance provider for volunteers; coverage can be purchased for a few cents per day. Details can be found at the website for Adams and Associates Insurance www.aaintl.com.

Volunteers also should have an up-to-date tetanus shot, and flu and hepatitis shots also are recommended.

Limited space is available each week –- groups must schedule in advance. To contact Bob and Linda Jackson at MissionLab, call at (404) 226-9367 or e-mail [email protected].

Jay Adkins, pastor of the New Orleans-area First Baptist Church of Westwego who is assisting in the cleanup initiative, noted, “One of the greatest blessings of being Southern Baptists is the cooperative spirit that has been planted and nurtured in each of our local congregations.

“Now is the time to put that spirit into action to help our future pastors, student ministers, missionaries, worship leaders, counselors and education directors in their greatest time of need,” said Adkins, who also is enrolled in NOBTS classes. “We, the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary family, need our brother and sister Baptists now like never before.”

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