Wednesday, August 29, 2007

You can still help New Orleans

Today, August 29th, is the 2nd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Today there are still tens of thousands of families without homes. 30,000 families are scattered across the country in FEMA apartments, 13,000 are in trailers, and hardly any of the 77,000 rental units destroyed in New Orleans have been rebuilt. And this is just one of the many issues the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are still dealing with.

Today, United for Peace and Justice re-affirms our commitment to the struggle to shift the use of our tax dollars away from war and toward the rebuilding of the communities still suffering from Katrina, and serving the many other needs of communities around the country. On this sad anniversary, we urge you to re-commit to this critically important work, a struggle that is interwoven with our efforts to end the war and occupation in Iraq.

We want to call your attention to a new short film produced Brave New Foundation, "When the Saints Go Marching In."
Here's what the filmmakers have to say: "During the making of this video, we heard the heartbreaking stories of good people unable to return home. We have heard the story of the Aguilar family who lost their home to the storm and only received $4,000 in payments from their insurance company. We have met Mr. Washington, an 87-year-old man and former carpenter, who owned three homes prior to the storm. He is still living in a FEMA trailer today. And we've met Julie, who could have returned to her job and normal life, if the government had opened up the public housing units that she had lived in prior to the storm."

After watching the film and hearing these voices, there is something very specific you can do to help. Sign the petition urging the Senate to pass the Gulf Coast Recovery Bill of 2007 (S1668). The bill is expected to come to a vote after Labor Day. Its passage will be an important step toward rebuilding the infrastructure in the Gulf Coast region.
- From United for Peace and Justice

From Habitat for Humanity, New Orleans:

Greetings friends of Habitat!

We have had a busy and productive summer! Thanks to all the volunteers who keep New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity going!

We are in need of volunteers through the fall!

If you have not volunteered with us in a while, now is the perfect opportunity! If you have never volunteered with us, now is your chance.

Remember: you do not need any construction skills to make a huge contribution!

Our new work week runs Tuesday through Saturday. To sign up to volunteer, please visit our website:

If you have a group of 15 or more, please email me directly.

Thank you for your support and the gift of your time!

In Partnership,

Melissa Manuselis
Volunteer Coordinator
AmeriCorps Supervisor
504.861.4121 p
504.866.6004 f

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