2007 SGA New Orleans Report
Members of the Student Government Association (SGA) made a second volunteer trip to New Orleans, LA on January 3-6, 2007. The group included Summer Brown, Director of Student Life and Leadership; Cheniqua Reynolds, SGA President; William Clay, SGA volunteer; Tracy Fox, SGA Historian; and Justin Lieber, SGA Senator.
The group volunteered through the Louisiana United Methodist Storm Relief Center (LUMSRC) and were assigned to the Norris’ home. Dwight and Joni Norris are both hospital employees who were confined to two different New Orleans hospitals for six days during and after Hurricane Katrina. Their home was flooded six and a half feet and is in unlivable conditions. The family stayed in a FEMA trailer for nine months and now reside in an apartment one hour outside of New Orleans until their home is rebuilt. They work 16-hour shifts at hospitals and have been unable to take the steps needed on their own to rebuild their home.
The group arrived on January 3 and attended orientation at LUMSRC where they were prepped on safety precautions and updated on the state of New Orleans. The LUMSRC has over 1,000 requests for assistance they have yet to attend to. The need for volunteers is as great now as it has been for the past year and a half.
On January 4 and 5, the group worked to gut the 1,600 square foot home. Upon arrival, the group found that only 5 percent of the mold infested home had been torn out. During their two days, the group worked to remove all sheetrock and ceilings in the home. The goal was accomplished with a great feeling of humility and excitement. The house is now 90 percent complete. The homeowners were very appreciative of the group’s hard work and made sure they had food and drinks during their work days.
The group plans to continue the community service trips to New Orleans until they are no longer needed.