WESTVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — A teenager is back in central Illinois after doing Hurricane Dorian cleanup in the Bahamas.
Kia Burke was there for a month, but this wasn’t her first mission trip. She also went to Panama City to do cleanup for Hurricane Michael.
Burke took this trip through an organization called All Hands and Hearts. They choose work sites based on the level of need. Burke graduated in May from Westville High School. She says she’s always had a heart for missions, and this trip was very eye-opening.
“It was just flattened out. There were no structures anymore, really. You would drive through the town and you would see just rubble everywhere, and it was really hard to wrap my head around, just because at my age, I had never seen anything like that,” said Burke.
Burke’s group was in what she called the “response” phase. They focused on schools and helped them get back on their feet. She says many of those schools had not been touched since the hurricane in August and September. Burke eventually wants to go into emergency management. She also hopes to take another mission trip soon.
Burke raised money for this trip on her own. She says All Hands and Hearts pays for the trip expenses once you get there, but you have to pay for the flights. She is still raising money for the organization’s work in the Bahamas now that she’s back.