We’re taking a deeper look at the past decade since Katrina on the Gulf Coast and into the future with a regular blog series, K+10.
Since 2006, over 25,000 volunteers of all ages, coming from all 50 states and upwards of 30 foreign countries, have called Camp Restore home.
In the process of contributing over one million volunteer hours, our volunteers have formed friendships with thousands of New Orleanians who are also putting their gifts to work in service. In both big and little ways, these connections with NOLA and our neighbors have been life-changing for all involved.
Here are some themes from the past ten years of volunteering:
“Be flexible or you’ll get bent out of shape.”
One of the first tasks when the camp opened in 2006, we still find ourselves gutting from time to time, even in 2015.
There’s something about hazmat suits and respirators that brings out this pose.
Being a Little Silly
Another side effect of wearing hazmat suits all day.
Still Being a Little Silly
Or maybe it wasn’t the hazmat suits.
Getting Unnecessarily Dirty
This is actually a nice segue to…
The Great Outdoors
While many projects are inside buildings, just as many are out in the wild, which begins right outside city limits.
Everyone has seen photos of gators; but they’re just the beginning!
Not only are our wetlands important animal habitats, they also provide critical storm surge protection for our city!
Big or small, there are all sorts of animals we’ve cared for with our partner nonprofits.
Working With Partners
Speaking of whom, we have some great cooperation with St. Bernard Project, Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together and more!
Ahh, the smell of sawdust in the morning!
The end goal of our home restoration projects, and what a special event to be part of!
Letting all the folks back home know where y’at!
Sun’s Out, Guns Out
New Orleans in the winter.
We’re getting serious about locally-sourced, healthy fruits and vegetables.
Getting in Line for Dinner
Mrs. Lorraine’s authentic New Orleans home cooking is worth the wait. (This photo is from 2008 when the dining hall was in the other building).
Making New Friends
These are our favorite kind of photos.
Working With Youth
Investing in our kids, investing in our future!
Mardi Gras Beads
They’re not just for throwing- but also recycling to support ARC of Greater New Orleans!
Mardi Gras: Parades + Family Reunion + Friends + Tailgating + Halloween + Band Competition.
OK, back to work! First comes mudding,
Then the really fun part.
“It’s important to get a nice even coat on the roller.”
This new wheelchair ramp was built for an elderly gentleman whose restored home was raised above flood elevation.
Whether it’s helping at mealtime at camp or serving at a local food pantry or soup kitchen, there’s a special satisfaction that comes from personally putting together a meal for others.
A number of artists have contributed their time and talent both at Camp Restore and around the city.
And another one rides the bus. (Thanks Weird Al)
Turning jungle into lawn. Today, there is much more lawn, much less jungle (thank goodness!).
Sometimes it’s two steps forward, one step back.
There’s nothing like relaxing after a hard day’s work.
Except for snowballs. Yeah, definitely snowballs. Actually, there are tons of great ways to kick back! This is New Orleans we’re talking about!
Enjoying the NOLA Ambiance
There are hundreds of places with fine music, food and atmosphere across the city.
Catching a Second Line
In New Orleans, you don’t find a second line; second lines find you.
There are dozens of festivals throughout the year, with the common denominator being good food and good music.
Riding the Streetcar
New Orleans’ streetcars are great for getting around, and are an attraction in their own right. For $1.25 a ride, they’d be the best value in town, if Wednesdays at the Square and many other festivals weren’t free.
Trying Something New
If there’s a kind of food you’ve never had before, you can change that in NOLA.
The past decade of volunteering has had an enormous impact on the lives of thousands in New Orleans as well as the tens of thousands of volunteers we’ve hosted. Our opportunities for volunteer service and partnership continue to expand.
As we continue working to rebuild homes, we’re also moving forward with a variety of efforts to build and protect community through proactive projects such as our senior centers and tree planting for wetlands restoration.
Serving in New Orleans continues to be incredibly rewarding for thousands of volunteers each year as they both restore and are restored themselves.
If you’ve never volunteered with us before, we’d love to have you join us! And to all of our volunteer alumni out there, thank you! We hope to serve with you again soon!