The Lamorinda Sun, the Contra Costa Times' weekly edition focusing on the Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda communities, profiled a local family with strong connections to Saint Mary's and a tradition of helping those in need. In the story "Disaster response runs in this family," correspondent Lou Fancher profiles the Verrips family whose members include two current students and two alums of the College — Chris, Justin, Josh, and Megan Verrips.
Chris and Justin are SMC graduates and Josh (3rd year) and Megan (2nd year) are current students at the College. The family has a history of helping communities in need. Both Chris and Justin Verrips accompanied Communication Professor Shawny Anderson to post-Katrina New Orleans a half dozen times and were among the groups of Saint Mary's students who provided more than 15,000 hours of relief services after the disaster. Additionally, Josh Verrips traveled to Tanzania with Anderson during Jan Term to work on water purification and other development efforts.
During the spring break, the Verrips traveled to Madison, Indiana, the hometown of Anderson. They assisted in clean up efforts in the aftermath of violent tornadoes that devastated the towns of Chelsea, Henryville and Marysville in early March. The battered towns where the group volunteered were, at most, 35 miles from where Anderson grew up.