Auburn Students Fight Skagit Floodwater

Thirty students from Auburn Adventist Academy loaded buses at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 21 and headed for the Skagit River. They weren't out for a day on the beach, though they did return with sand in their shoes. Their mission: to protect a neighboring community threatened by floods.

After the area received more than five inches of rain in 24 hours, the Skagit River crested at a threatening 40 feet, well above the 28-foot flood level. The residents of Mt. Vernon, Wash., were desperately fighting the resulting flood waters, and, upon hearing of their struggle, a group of seniors from Auburn volunteered to help.

The students were bussed to a local fire department and then transported with other volunteers to the areas in most severe need of assistance. Filling and stacking sandbags is not easy work, but the opportunity to interact with and help the community made the bags seem lighter. One student described it as "a lot of hard work, but a fun time."

After shoveling sand and passing bags for an exhausting five hours, the tired volunteers returned to the campus to share with their friends just how rewarding it can be to do something for someone else. Those who went consider it an extremely positive experience. One senior remarked, "I'm really happy that I could go there and help people. It was worth it."

December 01, 2003 / Washington Conference