Volunteerism in New Orleans
| 03.17.2006 | 08:44:44 | Views: 4594 | ID:
March 17 '06: The Christian Science Monitor reported Friday that as many as 10,000 college students from around the United States are spending their spring breaks helping recovery and cleanup efforts in New Orleans.
"From volunteer rescue workers who brought their duckboats and chainsaws during the flood to the college students now doing the gutting of salvageable homes," the Monitor wrote, "some 250,000 volunteers have some in the past six and a half months since the storm struck, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates."That some college students are spending their time helping to rebuild the city gives just one example of the other community outreaches across the country. The internet community posting site Craigslist.org has dedicated one of its fora to Katrina outreach. Other community programs like Emergency Communities focus on helping to fill the gaps in response and recovery and to help in a "grassroots, on-the-ground relief effort that seeks to use ... compassion and talents to provide for those worse effected by disasters," the organization's website read. In New Orleans, the Times Picayune reported that many helping in the area are there because of a sense of civic duty or because of their religious convictions. The Times reported, "Many (of the students) said they are having difficulty absorbing the immensity of Katrina's blow. They worry about the families whose homes they've gutted; they worry about the neighbors who are back, laboring under the crushing load of rebuilding." New Orleans CIty Councilor Cynthia Morrell told the Monitor, "Everybody talks about all these billions coming down, but on a one-to-one basis they're not seeing anything. ... It's an opportunity to go into a depression, and all of a sudden here come these kids, and even adults that come to help, and it's almost as if someone's reaching out a hand and saying, 'It's OK, we'll help you get on your feet.'"
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