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Fontbonne Group to Help St. Louis Storm Victims on Friday

About 10 people including faculty and staff will volunteer in Maryland Heights with Service International.

A group of about 10 people with ties to in Clayton will provide help later this week to Maryland Heights residents affected by .

The participants, including faculty and staff, will provide assistance in cooperation with Fontbonne Day. Numerous faculty, staff and students take the day to volunteer in places throughout the St. Louis area as part of the school's mission, which includes serving a world in need, said Mary Abkemeier, a professor of mathematics and computer science at the university. The event first happened in 2008.

Abkemeier said she began making calls about storm-related volunteer opportunities after catching up with people at the university on Monday.

"We will be doing what the people want us to do and what still needs to be done," Abkemeier said. The group will work for four to four and a half hours on Friday.

The group will work with Chesterfield-based Service International, a group founded by Pastor Jeff Perry of St. Louis Family Church.

Other volunteers will provide services for more than two dozen additional organizations such as the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition, Paraquad and Operation Food Search, a news release from the university states.

"As a whole, the Fontbonne community really aspires to live out the university's mission to serve a world in need," stated Sarah Boul, director of campus ministries, in the release. "Fontbonne Day gives us an opportunity to walk the walk."

Abkemeier described her reaction to seeing images of damage that the storm caused.

"When you see the site, you just pray that people weren't hurt," she said. Abkemeier said a prayer of thanks that no one had been killed, then asked herself what she could do to give back. She said that while she could make a donation, she also wants to get out and actively provide help, with the proper guidance.

Friday's volunteer opportunity, she said, will allow people associated with Fontbonne to show others that they care and to represent the school.

FONTBONNE DAY 8 a.m. Registration and coffee 8:15 a.m. Introductions and speaker Dr. David Gray 9:30 a.m. Conversation, questions and comments 10 a.m. Depart for service sites 3:15 p.m. Wrap-up and a slideshow from the day's activities at the Dunham Student Activity Center

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