K+10: Restoration is a Two-Way Street

Blogs, The Latest

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.

Safety Equipment


There’s something about hazmat suits and respirators that brings out this pose.

Being a Little Silly

being a little silly2

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

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!

Wetlands Restoration


Not only are our wetlands important animal habitats, they also provide critical storm surge protection for our city!

Animal Care

caring for animals

Big or small, there are all sorts of animals we’ve cared for with our partner nonprofits.

Working With Partners

working with partners

Speaking of whom, we have some great cooperation with St. Bernard Project, Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together and more!

Power Tools

power tools

Ahh, the smell of sawdust in the morning!

House Blessings

House Blessing

The end goal of our home restoration projects, and what a special event to be part of!


group selfies


Group Photos

Taking a group photo

Letting all the folks back home know where y’at!

Sun’s Out, Guns Out

suns out guns out

New Orleans in the winter.

Urban Farming

urban farming

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

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.”

New Construction

new construction

This new wheelchair ramp was built for an elderly gentleman whose restored home was raised above flood elevation.

Serving Meals

serving meals

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.

Being Artistic

being artistic

A number of artists have contributed their time and talent both at Camp Restore and around the city.

Road Trips


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.

Kicking Back

lounging around

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

visiting fine establishments

There are hundreds of places with fine music, food and atmosphere across the city.

Catching a Second Line

running into 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 Verdict

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!

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Photos from Camp – Week of April 19, 2015
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Photos from Camp – May 2015

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