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Volunteer in NOLA with Habitat for Humanity
Still trying to figure out what to do this summer? Thinking of traveling? Heidi Reich '05 recently sent SEEDS this message encouraging more Reedies to volunteer this summer and fall in the hurricane devastated areas:
"Greetings! I am a volunteer with the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity crew working in St. Bernard Parish. I am sending this email out to let every back in my native Pacific Northwest know that the recovery and rebuilding efforts along the Gulf Coast are still underway and we truly need more volunteers this summer. If you could forward this information to students interested in community service opportunities for the summer and fall, we would greatly appreciate it. St. Bernard Parish remains one of the most devastated communities in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. St. Bernard, located to the southeast of New Orleans, suffered significant structural damage to 100% of its residential and commercial units. The citizens of St. Bernard Parish need your help in order to recover. The parish launched the St. Bernard Recovery Project starting January 12th, 2006. New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity is aiding in this historic endeavor by supplying volunteers. St. Bernard Parish will coordinate the overall volunteer effort. Volunteers will work in 10-person teams. Typically volunteers clean out a home in one or two days. These homes have all been checked by the St. Bernard Fire Department for structural integrity. The volunteers salvage family memorabilia and remove harmful debris. As the project unfolds, FEMA will demolish those homes that cannot be salvaged, and NOAHH will partner with the many uninsured or underinsured families to build a new Habitat home on their cleared lots provided the families meet our criteria and do not owe a substantial mortgage balance. NOAHH will also facilitate a mortgage payoff negotiation process to eliminate or greatly reduce that debt. Please see the St. Bernard Recovery Project link at http://www.habitat-nola.org for more information about getting involved with the rebuilding efforts. This is a great opportunity for students to get involved over summer break and to gain a greater understanding of the devastation here and of what it is like for a community to start over after such a large-scale disaster. For the most part, the burden of showing these communities that the rest of the country has not forgotten about them and will not turn our backs on them is on the volunteers. Come down here and help us rebuild St. Bernard.
Heidi Reich '05"
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