College students volunteer to help rebuild the panhandle

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 8:05 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Like many others, a group of students from the University of Central Florida is spending spring break in the panhandle. But, they aren’t on vacation.

“We’re just helping out people in need. People who can’t do the heavy work,” UCF sophomore Diego Angulo said.

This week, ten UCF students are in town with Mission850 to lend a helping hand to people still recovering from Hurricane Michael.

“Whether it’s standing up someone’s birdbath or whether it’s cutting someone’s tree down for them, it communicates to them that you’re worth it and you have dignity,” Mission850 mission coordinator Dot Wagner said.

On Wednesday, the group was hard at work fixing up some trouble spots in Panama City. What started with cutting down a tree in the backyard of one home, turned into fixing up two other houses on the block.

“It means more to me than I can say. I just know that God is here in some of our prayers and he’s coming to help us,” homeowner Renee Ramirez said.

Angulo said his personal mission is to be a little spark of hope for people in need.

“I hope that by us coming here and by us being here, they are reminded that they are loved. That God loves them. That we love them, and that there are people that care about them,” Angulo said.

It’s not just these people who care. Wagner said she has volunteers who come from all across the country to help out. Even though the UCF students are only here this week, more volunteers will come to town over the next few months.

Mission850 officials said they’re looking to serve anyone who needs help. All you have to do is ask.

To request volunteers or assistance with, email

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