Well, another year and another trip to New Orleans, LA has come and gone. This is the fourth year out of five that I have accompanied Centenary College and Drew University on the relief trip, this year focusing on St. Bernard's Parish, one of the hardest hit by the Katrina/Rita flooding. St. Bernard's Parish is a blue collar working class area where residents have huge hearts and great faith. Many of the home owners are elderly and cannot do any physical work on their homes themselves. The homes are sitting there waiting...waiting for volunteer workers, waiting for Road Home federal money, waiting to be occupied again by residents that take pride in what they have, no matter how small.
These homes are only one quarter the size of an average New Jersey home yet to their owners, they are mansions; places where generations of family memories are stored. You can almost hear the stories echo through the walls as you scrape, sheet rock, paint, and prepare for the home coming.
"Thank you" and "God Bless all of you" are phrases you hear over and over again. Smiling faces, after all this time, from the people that just want a sense of normalcy back in their daily routine.
Everyone asks me two questions, "How was your trip?" and "Will you go again next year?" I answer; AMAZING and YES, OF COURSE I'LL GO!
NOLA 2010 Trip Facebook Photo Gallery
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Mornings With Melanie
WNTI Management / Development Director