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New Orleans relief: a year and a half later

horsefeathers401's picture
on March 14, 2007 - 3:08pm

Spring break was absolutely amazing!!! I went down to New Orleans with the best group of people from Campus Crusade to do Katrina relief work. Even though it's been a year and a half there is still sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much work that needs to be done. Only 5% of the houses in N.O. parish have been rebuilt and some still haven't even been gutted yet.

The first two days we worked at a school across the river from N.O. They weren't expecting so many people to come and weren't prepared so some ended up doing gardening work and others painted the first day. The second day part of the group went back and painted benches, tables, planters, and doors. I ended up getting soo much green paint in my hair and it hasn't all even come out yet!! The kids were so sweet and gave us the cutest thank you card.

The next day we went to a daycare center that needed to be gutted. It was near the Superdome and the water level was only about 5ft (from the ground; 3 ft in the house), so we only had to gut the house part way. We had to take everything out and then take the sheetrock down and pull the tiles up.

The next morning we gutted a duplex in the lower 9th Ward. The water level was so high there that you would have been lucky to see that house. Fortunately another group had already taken the furniture out and there wasn't any insulation so all we had to do was pull sheetrock down. It only took us half a day so in the afternoon we went and helped another group with their house. They had to completely gut their house. It was a mess in there. One of the rooms had burned and there was a 3 inch layer of mud all over everything. They had 2 refrigerators and a freezer. When you remove them you don't want to open them, because they are still full of water and old food. It's really hard work and I was completely worn out by the end of the week, but I would sure love to go back!!

I'd have to say that the most touching thing that happened while I was down there did not happen while we were working. The dinners that they served weren't that great, so we ended up going down to the French Quarter to get food. While we were walking around we came across this street band playing "Amazing Grace." To be homeless and living off what money people drop in your basket and to still have the faith to be singing "Amazing Grace" is absolutely... well... amazing! So, we stopped and listened to them for a while. While they played this other woman came up selling pies. He took some of his money and bought a pie from her. It was so amazing that he was so unselfish to give up some of his money to someone else who needed it just as bad as he did! That's how he makes his money and he was willing to give some of it up to someone else! If someone who has no home and very little money is still willing to share what he earns with others, what should we, who have a roof over our heads and lots of money comparitively, do??

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