Summer Volunteering in New Orleans

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If you’re among the majority of the United States experiencing a record heatwave, I’ve got news for you: We’re probably cooler than you are! I mean, our volunteers are literally cooler here in New Orleans, thanks to the Gulf breeze that usually keeps us below 100 degrees in the summertime.

Now, if we could just do something about the humidity…

Our thermometers aren’t the only thing heating up lately. Between the looming presidential election, Supreme Court rulings and Congress doing what Congress does, there are plenty of non-meteorological opportunities to get hot under the collar this summer. From what I’ve gathered, either the Government is solving our problems, and we need more of it, or the solution to our problems is to have less Government. Depending on the issue, of course.

Good news everyone! We have a third option: While our elected officials (who we’ve done our best to elect) do their best to serve our country in Washington, we can work with one another to serve others in our communities, and lots of y’all are already doing just that!

It’s a solution of Biblical proportions: We each have different gifts, and they’re all for our common good! Together we are complete – one body – and we’re built to serve personally, not just through taxes and voting! (1 Cor. 12) And serving personally is a lot more fun!

Consider a typical week at Camp Restore: Volunteers from far and near, of various socioeconomic levels, of various political and religious beliefs, high schools and churches, colleges and universities, come together in partnership with New Orleanians for the common purpose of restoring faith, home and community in the Crescent City.

In doing so, they discover, develop and apply their gifts for service, make a difference for those in need in our community, and experience refreshing fellowship with all.

Best of all, very often this process doesn’t stop when volunteers leave Camp Restore. Rather, experience and skills discovered and developed in New Orleans are applied by volunteers across all sorts of opportunities, in their own communities and elsewhere. We’ve heard of newfound partnerships with local nonprofits, faster and more effective responses to disasters, and life-changing perspective shifts that have led to reconciliation across former lines of division.

And that’s pretty sweet.

-Kurt

 

P.S. So are Snowballs. And they’re AWESOME! 🙂

 

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