GL Goes to the Gulf Coast image

(CBS)

Jordan Clarke puts his carpentry talents to good use (Soaps.com)

This Wednesday's In The Light episode will feature the cast of Guiding Light as they make the trek to Biloxi, Mississippi. During the last week of January, the cast and crew of more than 80 shut down the studio in New York to head off to the Gulf Coast. Jordan Clarke (Billy Lewis) described the devastation they saw as �we drove from New Orleans Airport to Biloxi, we saw miles and miles of wasteland, and then all of a sudden it turned into a swamp and scrub brush...This is a year later, and many people are still living in trailers, but the work is slowly being done.�

Once there, they set out helping to repair and build homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Together with local volunteers, they worked on three homes, bringing one to a complete finish for a family that had lost everything. In addition, they toured the area, visiting schools and performing volunteer work in local communities. This volunteer work has been carried out in partnership with the Hands On Network as part of the 70th anniversary Find Your Light celebration. Each month they will travel to a different community across the nation and offer their help. Anyone interested in volunteering alongside the cast an crew is encouraged to visit the Find Your Light or Hands On Network sites to check for opportunities to join in.

The episode to air on February 14th, will feature the actors as themselves in their unmade-up glory, helping construction crews build homes in various states of completion. While many of the cast have never done more than hammer a nail, some actually worked as carpenters or in other trades while they were still struggling actors. The producers of the show hope that this venture will bring the original spirit of Guiding Light back by turning the focus back on community and helping other people. Bob Bogue (AC Mallet) summed up the purpose of their presence to reporters: "People think that since Katrina news is not in the headlines that things are up and running here. Well, things are not up and running, and we are here to help those who have fallen through the cracks."

From a fan, we recieved this poem which we would like to share with you.

ODE TO A VOLUNTEER

We have the pleasure of knowing a friend or two
Who smile and say �What can I do?�
To help those in need or in poor health
Regardless of time or available wealth

Of talent or task, no matter how hard
The efforts are done with little regard
To awards or prizes or gifts in return
Just the smiles and the thanks of people who�ve yearned

Success is born as ideas abound
Desire and energy bring solutions around
To spread our assistance to people in need
Stretching opportunities because we believe

If there is ever a time when doubt comes around
As to your value, let this resound
We each have a season, we can�t do it all
One thing or twenty, you�ve answered the call

Sometimes it is hard to fit it all in
With families and pressures so keep up your chin
Support and have faith and make sure you rest
Know whatever you�re doing, it is always your best

This tribute is written because of you
Without your help, there would be only a few
Your uniqueness brings strength to our band of brothers
That sets us apart from all of the others

There is no greater love of human kind
Than to give of yourself and cut into your time
Oh, what a difference your presence has made
Your talents are valued; your contributions remain

So thanks to you � The Volunteer!
Take time for a smile and even a cheer
You�ve done a great job, you�ve nothing to fear
You�ll be blessed for your efforts because you�re so dear

Nora J. Gulden