For as long as I can remember, the travel bug ruled my family. Hailing from the great land of Texas, plenty of tourist travel destinations were a day’s drive away. Each summer my parents uncovered some new, fascinating place for our family to visit. Moving away for college failed to quell my need for travel. Naturally, when an internship opportunity to spend two months in unexplored New Orleans came up, I snatched it.
I suppose the rest is history. I’ve been working at Camp Restore for 14 full business days now. (The countdown Kathy has on the walls to say good bye to Emily keeps count for me.) With tomorrow being Emily’s final day, my career here at Camp Restore is officially underway!
Before graduation thrust me into the real world, I’d come to Camp Restore as an intern (for two summers), as a volunteer, and even as a religion class at Concordia University Texas. The amount of time I’ve spent while in college returning to Camp Restore is a testament to how transformative and nurturing this place truly is.
You stumble upon the kindest, most gentle spirited volunteers here, all eager to serve their neighbor. There was Ben who helped me cut down bushes, Jason who led worship music, Trina who made us prayer bracelets, Seth and Nolan who provided endless comic relief, Teddy who was endlessly patient with my frazzled intern brain, Christina and Samantha who sang random songs with me, and Jeremy who brought me water when I started getting sick.
I’ve seen thousands of people come in and out of Camp and heard their stories. Being the intern who has asked people to carry large bags of garbage and wipe off tables after 250 hungry high schoolers have eaten off them, I’ve often witnessed how kindhearted our volunteers truly are. New Orleans is different than it was three years ago when I first arrived. It’s a lot better. Not perfect, and still in need of some TLC, but getting better every week. Whether you’ve served with Camp Restore or not, the volunteers who come to serve New Orleans are the reason it’s the place I now call home.
- Helping lead youth from Concordia High School Austin