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Spring break volunteers in New Orleans

Now, perhaps this was a drop in the bucket, perhaps not, but I personally thought it was really impressive:

Trading beer bongs for sledgehammers
Posted by Anderson Cooper: 6:39 PM EST Thu 23 Mar 2006
OK, so you probably won't see these spring-breakers on MTV anytime soon, but thousands of young college students have passed up beer bongs in Daytona for the opportunity to volunteer in Mississippi and New Orleans, gutting homes and helping residents try to clean up.

I spent today with a number of volunteers, and I gotta say, while some people fret about the future of our country, if these young people are any indication, the kids are alright. There is nothing glamorous or fun about the work they are doing. Ripping out dry wall in mold-infested homes is not exactly easy or pleasurable, and yet, these students have paid their own way here for the privilege.

Nearly every person said the same thing: "I had no idea it was this bad" and "I can't believe more isn't being done."

I wish everyone had an opportunity to come down to the Gulf Coast. Nearly seven months since Katrina, and still no clear rebuilding plan is in place.

It's interesting to see it through the eyes of these young volunteers. I think the danger of coming here as often as I have is that it starts to seem normal. The destroyed homes, the lack of progress. For the volunteers it is a shock, and it still should shock us all.

Did anyone reading this entry do this? If so, props to you - seriously.
Does anyone know anyone who did (on LJ or otherwise)?



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 31st, 2006 02:25 am (UTC)
A co-worker's step-daughter went down to NOLA during February break and worked with Habitat for Humanity. I did a Spring Break with Habitat in Freshman year to Charleston, SC after Hurricane Hugo. An amazingly rewarding experience.
Mar. 31st, 2006 06:45 am (UTC)
I'm sure it was!

I want to do something with Habitat - locally if not far abroad.

Mar. 31st, 2006 02:57 am (UTC)
My friend (who goes to tulane) has been rebuilding since the day after christmas, and the University of Illinois actually sponsored a service trip down there for anyone who was interested..bunch of my friends went.

pretty cool, i think.
Mar. 31st, 2006 04:08 am (UTC)
VERY cool
Nice. Are (or were) you at UIUC?

Mar. 31st, 2006 06:12 am (UTC)
Re: VERY cool
I am currently a year and a half away from obtaining a bachelors in music education from that fine institution of higher learning...
Mar. 31st, 2006 06:16 am (UTC)
Yay, Chambana!
You get the first use of this icon in my LJ! ^_^

Did you ever meet Anwyn of TORn (Cindy McNew)?

Mar. 31st, 2006 06:17 am (UTC)
Re: Yay, Chambana!
lol! yay i win!

and i have not, mainly because as a music major I live my life in a very isolated portion of campus...mainly the four block radius that encompasses the band building, the music building and krannert. Chances are, if she doesn't frequent those places I have no idea who she is.
Mar. 31st, 2006 06:23 am (UTC)
Anwyn (Cindy McNew)
She was a PhD student in music, but I think she would have graduated soon after LOTR:FOTR came out - maybe 2002?

I just tried to log into Orkut to look her up, but it still won't let me back in. D'oh!

Apr. 1st, 2006 10:43 am (UTC)
Slightly off topic, but you know what really burns me about this article? The fact that while giving these students kudos, they at the same time are putting down the students. "Trading beer bongs for sledgehammers". Yes, some of the students on the trips may do that, but chances are it's not a large part of their life if they are giving up an entire week of potential partying to go help others. I managed to get through college without the copious amounts of drugs, alcohol, and promiscuous sex that the media likes to portray as the "college experience". It does a disservice to these hard working, generous kids and it gives incoming freshmen a very poor idea of how much work college really is. (I worked as an adviser, dealing mainly with freshmen engineers and I can't tell you how many of them were worrying about balancing engineering coursework with the "college experience".)
Apr. 3rd, 2006 10:34 pm (UTC)
I did this.. not over spring break. I volunteered during the time the university was closed (cutting and moving branches to clear roadways, and later setting up cellular Nortel switches). I also was supposed to work with student H4H over the christmas break building $30k houses on the MS gulf coast, but the organizational skills of the management sort of fizzled out.

Our spring break is the 4-day Easter Weekend, because of Katrina. That is, next Thursday-Sunday. I plan to spend it on my new bicycle.
Apr. 3rd, 2006 10:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, and New Orleans? There isn't much to be done there, because its largely abandoned. Its impossible to do anything there because the property owners have all left! I was there one week from Sunday, and even the French Quarter was empty.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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