Students Rebuild New Orleans

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Abandoned lot in the Lower 9th Ward. [Courtesy of Henry Walters]
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Slavery memorial (and Katrina). [Courtesy of Henry Walters]
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Abandoned hospital (it would cost the city more to take it down, so they leave it)               [Courtesy of Henry Walters]

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Courtesy of Lulu Eddy
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Courtesy of Lulu Eddy
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Courtesy of Lulu Eddy

By: Claire Kitzmiller

In 2005, devastation surrounded hundreds of people in New Orleans, Louisiana, when hurricane Katrina struck. After twelve years, the city has not been fully rebuilt.

During this past April vacation, a group of students from the Follen Unitarian Church in Lexington went to New Orleans to perform a variety of services. The students rebuilt houses, gardened, mulched, and  participated in dialogues about racism.

They worked with service groups, NOLA Tree Project and Edible School Yard.

Several of the student who went on the trip are from Arlington High. Sophomores, Isabella Scopetski, Lulu Eddy, and Henry Walters are part of FUUY, Follen Unitarian Universalist Youth.

 Outside groups have done the majority of the rebuilding of New Orleans, because of the government’s insufficient funding.

The trip is important to Scopetski because she “learned a lot to take back to Arlington to better the community”.

Walters enjoys the work because he knows he is making a difference and helping people. Walters said, “You take a lot from it by giving.”

The theme of the trip was “Intent versus Impact”. Students learned the importance of asking what is needed instead of assuming.

Even though the people in New Orleans have experienced so much devastation, Lulu Eddy says, “It fills me with happiness to see how friendly and happy everyone living there is.”

The New Orleans community is grateful and welcoming to all those who offer their services and help.

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