Katrina volunteers take no break

Posted by Dan Grippo
Friday 17, April 2009 | Category:   Mission & Evangelization

Nearly four years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans remains a prime destination for thousands of out-of-state volunteers willing to take a break from their own lives to help rebuild the city--never more so than during the recently concluded spring break season.

Here, at least, Katrina fatigue has not yet settled in, say managers of major church and community groups that consume millions of volunteer hours as they build and repair thousands of homes.

 "We're completely maxed out," said Paul Cook, senior project coordinator for Catholic Charities' Operation Helping Hands.

Similar reports came from other major rebuilding nonprofit groups: the St. Bernard Project, Habitat for Humanity, the United Methodist Church's Southeast Louisiana Disaster Recovery Center, the Presbyterian-affiliated Project RHINO and others.

Many Catholic colleges and universities now have "alternative spring break" programs in place, to make such opportunities available. Here's a question for college students' and recent grads--Does your school have such a program? If so, have you participated in an alternative spring break? Tell us about it!


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