A delegation of Jewish students from Texas A&M University responded to the devastation caused by Hurricane Ike by trekking the 100 miles southeast to ensure that waterlogged residents of a senior housing facility wouldn’t have to spend another night without a roof over their heads.

A total of seven people led by Rabbi Yossi Lazaroff, co-director of Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish Student Center serving the university, spent the better part of a day affixing tarp to an exposed roof at the Goldberg B’nai B’rith Towers in the southwest section of Houston. They also cleared debris at the site and at other locations in the neighborhood.

“It was a real accomplishment that we were able to do this,” said senior Chad Davis, a finance major at A&M and member of the school’s military-style Corps of Cadets. “It shows what Aggies are made of.”

The effort mirrored past projects mounted by Chabad student groups after natural disasters. Earlier this summer after Hurricane Dolly struck Texas, the Chabad House serving the University of Texas in Austin put up campers from the Camp Gan Israel summer camp that had been forced from South Padre Island. And after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, dozens of students from across the country descended on New Orleans to help in the cleanup and rebuilding.

“Immediately after the hurricane hit, the students all wanted to do something to help,” said Lazaroff. “All that mattered to them was that people were in need.”

Before the students’ arrival, Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff, co-director of the Chabad-Lubavitch center in Houston’s Uptown section, unloaded a barbeque and grilled kosher chickens for senior citizens stunned by the loss of power. He and his crew personally delivered the food to residents who were unable to climb down the stairs of their building.

“I’m excited that [everybody] came with the chicken and the barbeque,” said Charlotte Motley, administrator of the Goldberg Towers.

“The mitzvah of helping others in distress, coupled with their gratitude, was the greatest reward for our volunteers,” said Chaim Lazaroff.

Much of Houston was still without power as of Tuesday, and the Chabad House continued to take responsibility for residents’ spiritual and physical needs. In cooperation with a local synagogue, the Chabad House is coordinating the delivery of 1,000 Shabbat care packages later this week from New York.