Restoring in the New Normal – A Native New Orleanian Perspective

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Hello, I am Renée Rolland. My position as Director of Volunteer Relations and Coordination has afforded me an opportunity to work closely with volunteers from all over the country by assigning service opportunities throughout the great city of New Orleans.

Camp Restore is a home for volunteers from around the world as they join New Orleanians and our nonprofit organizations in service.

I am a lifetime resident of New Orleans. My love for our city runs deep, as evidenced by my office decor and the myriad of social activities my friends and I engage in. Service is a priority for me, not just at work, but in the civic organizations I provide my volunteer time to. Camp Restore is the perfect place for me to feel at home.

Camp Restore is continuing to assist the citizens of New Orleans now 15 years post-Hurricane Katrina. The people of our city are very resilient. The phrase “Getting back up” is a given in our culture.

Currently New Orleans, like the rest of the world, is experiencing the Coronavirus Pandemic. Terms such as quarantine, social distancing and hand washing are synonymous with survival. Camp Restore is a relevant part of that survival as well. Our volunteers will have opportunities to make a difference more than ever when we return to normal operations. The elder population of our city, a rapidly-growing segment, live on fixed or low incomes and are often in need of home repairs, maintenance assistance and social engagement. Our senior centers and volunteers skilled in construction enable our seniors to live active and healthy lives while remaining in their family homes and neighborhoods.

Members of the New Orleans East Senior Center at a gathering before Covid-19 restrictions.

The pandemic has ushered in 30 million unemployed workers, many who face permanent job loss. Many of these unemployed are moving back into their original family homes due to job loss and increased rents due to gentrification. The volunteer help our community has received from Camp Restore will be needed in new ways as we work together to make our community whole.

Dinner at Camp – looking forward to doing so once again!

Volunteerism in New Orleans will continue to provide safe havens for residents, foster family bondings in secure homes as well as provide a sense of pride for the community to prosper. I look forward to the return of volunteers in our camp hallways and throughout the city. Together we can assist in the improvement of living conditions and lifestyles that form the foundations of a hospitable and heartwarming New Orleans.

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The First 15 Years of Restoring Post-Katrina
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September 14, 2020 Newsletter

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