The Boyce Family is proud to have their daughters; Brittany (center left) and Brooke (center right) attend a mission trip to New Orleans over the summer to help rebuild the homes that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Youth Pastor, Johnny Saunders (far right) is thrilled that the girls have raised $880 towards their trip. The girls need to raise $2000 for the trip.

It has been more than seven years since Hurricane Katrina caused major devastation to the Gulf Coast, especially to New Orleans, Louisiana. Many families in New Orleans are still struggling to have their homes repaired from the floods that overtook the city. They are in need of help. 

Brittany and Brooke Boyce of Seffner want the people of New Orleans to know that help is on the way. The girls will be going on a mission trip to New Orleans June 16-22 to help rebuild some of the damaged homes. Brittany is 15-years-old and Brooke is 13-years-old. They are members of the youth group at First Free Will Baptist Church in Seffner and attend Seffner Christian Academy.

Their youth group teamed up with the organization, Team Effort, to make the mission trip possible. Team Effort has brought more than 95,000 youth and leaders from various churches of different denominations together to work side-by-side on life-changing, eye-opening, faith-building mission trips. This trip will be Brittany’s second mission trip and Brooke’s first.

“It’s a wonderful experience to be surrounded in a Christian environment and be able to help people instead of myself and my family,” Brittany said. “It’s important to help others and this time I invited my sister to come with me.” 

Brooke is excited about getting to do something she’s never done; build a house.

“I’m not the kind of person who goes out and does things like this, but I want to try and help people,” Brooke said. 

The trip will cost the girls $1,000 each and they get no help from their church. The girls have to raise the money for their trip on their own. So far, the girls have raised $880   by hosting dinners at the church and having bake sales at church events.

Reverend Johnny Saunders, youth pastor, at their church said the girls have been working hard to meet their goal.
“It’s a lesson they learn before the trip,” Saunders said. “They learn how to earn the money and how to work together in a team.” 

The girls are hoping to go over their goal so they can help other members of their youth group meet their goals to go on the mission trip. If you would like to help the Boyce sisters with their mission trip, you can make a donation via the girls’ Website at

If you would like to know more about Team Effort, you can visit For more information about First Free Will Baptist Church, you can contact 626-5383 or visit Website at

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.