I was down in New Orleans, Louisiana for a bachelor party this past weekend. A few months ago when we were making plans, my friend Bryan researched ways we could help with Hurricane Katrina victims in the area. What he found was the St. Bernard Project.
From their about page:
The mission of the St. Bernard Project is to create housing opportunities so that Hurricane Katrina survivors can return to their homes and communities. The St. Bernard Project, a nonprofit, community-based organization carries out its mission through three primary programs: Rebuilding Program, Center for Wellness and Mental Health and Senior Housing Program.
This past Monday my friends Bryan, Frank, Andrew and I drove out to Violet, Lousiana, located in St Bernard Parish (New Orleans is divided into parishes like New York City is divided into boroughs) to help rebuild a house. The drive out to Violet revealed that there’s still a lot of grim, empty communities that have still not recovered from Katrina.
Thanks to the St Bernard Project, over 275 houses have been rebuilt with families back living in them. The goal for 2010 is to rebuild another 133 houses. The project is having a huge impact on the city, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
Here are some statistics (via):
• 1,000 families still displaced in St. Bernard
• 13,000 families still displaced in New Orleans
• 75% of homeowners did not receive sufficient funds to rebuild their home
I strongly encourage you to do what you can. You can find out how on their site.
One of the easiest ways is to make a $5 donation by texting “NOLA” to 50555. It will show up on your mobile bill. My friends and I all did this on the ride to the house we worked on.