I am glad to post this great article by John Pope in Today's Times Picayune newspaper. Its a testament on the growing influence by volunteers from all over the country on New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity's mission of rebuilding New Orleans.
Here are excerpts from the article:
"By rolling up their sleeves to perform tasks such as feeding and sheltering evacuees, tutoring youngsters and gutting and rebuilding houses, about 1.1 million volunteers have contributed services worth nearly $263 million in the two years since Hurricane Katrina hit, according to a federal report released Monday.
Camp Hope has been a haven for thousands of volunteers over the two years since Hurricane Katrina, offering a place to sleep, shower and eat when not working in the community.About 600,000 men and women have donated their time in the storm-stricken area in the past year, 9 percent more than the 550,000 who came in the first year after the storm, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. That government organization is an umbrella agency for several volunteer groups, including AmeriCorps.
"The generosity of the American people has been overwhelming," said Donald Powell, federal coordinator for rebuilding the Gulf Coast, during a news conference at Beauregard Middle School in Violet. The gathering was held not only to discuss the report, but also to give the shuttered school the temporary name of Camp Hope, a shelter for volunteers that houses about 200 people each week.
The previous Camp Hope had been at a nearby elementary school.
Because the scope of destruction was so vast, volunteer activity will have to continue at this level for at least eight more years, said Jim Pate, Habitat for Humanity's local executive director.
Calling the volunteer turnout "the bright side of the American spirit," Powell said he isn't worried about Katrina fatigue.
"I think that's evident today," he said, gesturing toward about 60 cheering volunteers in the audience."
You can read more on the story here