Is there a better place to volunteer? New Orleans has the amazing people, resilient spirit, and need that makes enlisting in its cause a worthwhile and rewarding experience. We saw that need, and we pounced.
After Hurricane Katrina rumbled ashore in 2005, the majority of homes in and around New Orleans were reduced to rubble. People wanted and needed to return to their home city. There is an innate fire inside this city’s residents to pull up their bootstraps, bond together and collectively face any challenge that rears its head. In this case, the people of this great city needed homes, and they needed them fast.
Youth Rebuilding New Orleans was born.
Starting as a pipe dream, we identified damaged homes in need of revitalization and set out to restore them. Using a group of volunteers, we helped homeowners gut their homes, clean up yards, remove storm debris and assist with any other project that could inject life back into our city’s neighborhoods.
The results were overwhelming. Homeowners smiled ear to ear. They cried. They hugged us. They got their lives back on track. They survived.
“It’s great to see somebody move into a house after we worked so long and so hard on it, and the smile on their face—its payment enough,” said Ricardo Guerra, a YRNO volunteer for two years.
It’s people like Guerra who make this process bear fruit. Volunteer New Orleans labor is crucial to our survival. So far, countless volunteers from around the country have come to New Orleans to help us revitalize our communities. But we need more. The job is not finished. In fact, its just beginning.
There is no age requirement, but typically our volunteer New Orleans corps are students. Those under 18 must get signed parental consent. Younger student groups are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Although we will take anybody who wants to help, the optimal size for our typical job is about 10-25 members, but we can accommodate larger volunteer groups. When we have many projects in the works, the more the merrier. YRNO recently announced their new volunteer bunkhouse that is available for groups to reserve.
“I’ve been volunteering with YRNO since the beginning of Katrina,” said Mike Kingston, YRNO’s construction supervisor. “And it’s really helped me become who I am today… I’ve learned more on the job site than I have in one year of schooling.”
Find yourself. Put a smile on somebody’s face, and know you are an integral part of sustaining the vibrancy of this great city by helping us today.
We have given you a need. Now pounce on it.