FX Excursions

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Voluntourism in New Orleans

by Megan Hill

Sep 7, 2014

International headquarters of Habitat for Humanity in Americus, Georgia © Robhainer | Dreamstime

Trends / Voluntourism

When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, images of the devastation flashed across every television screen in the United States. Those haunting images inspired thousands of people to volunteer, rebuilding homes, handing out hot meals or assisting with rescued pets.

 

Though it’s been nine years since the storm roared ashore, a host of non-profits are still hard at work rebuilding. Homes are still being rebuilt and the focus has expanded to include coastal restoration too. Other projects are available, too, like building playgrounds or beautifying blighted neighborhoods.

 

The top organizations to work with include:

 

Common Ground Relief: Projects include building new homes in low-income areas and wetlands restoration efforts.

 

Habitat for Humanity: Assist with various stages of the home-building process, from framing to painting.

 

Rebuilding Together New Orleans: Focuses on making existing homes safer and more accessible for the elderly and disabled.

 

Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana: Help package and deliver or serve meals to low-income citizens.

 

St. Bernard Project: Focusing on hard-hit St. Bernard Parish, this non-profit builds homes for those affected by the hurricane.

 

Youth Rebuilding New Orleans: Groups and individuals can help rebuild blighted, foreclosed and flood-damaged homes.

 

Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program: Get your hands dirty with projects like planting marsh grass and cleaning up the coast.

 

For more opportunities, visit the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau website.

 

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