The Junior League's 'Rebuilding a Better New Orleans' project in October 2006 mobilized approximately 1000 volunteers over the course of nine days. More than 600 people came from 200 cities across the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. Fourteen Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington members, together with several of their family and friends to New Orleans at their own expense to participate and work side by side with other Leaguers in the extremely rewarding and memorable initiative.
Over 12,000 hours of sweat and determination during the week's projects contributed to the gutting, sheet-rocking, painting, flooring, cabinet installing and plumbing of 25 house projects in the Freret Street area. A general cleanup of the area also included the neighborhood cemetery. At Habitat For Humanity's Musicians' Village, sidewalks were poured and painting continued to complete the construction of houses so that homeowners could return. In City Park, New Orleanians enjoyed a beautified new Band Stand after a week of cleanup and planting. Restoration efforts at Willie Mae's Scotch House Restaurant enabled the 90 year old restaurateur to start frying her famous chicken again!
Bourbon Street was very much alive! After working all day, Leaguers enjoyed the cuisine and music New Orleans is famous for. Work wrapped up early one day so that volunteers could take part in a dinner and tour designed to inspire and educate. The disaster tour covered the Ninth Ward, Lakeview, Old Metairie, and Gentilly. A stop was made at the Red Cross for a presentation on disaster preparedness.
The Junior League volunteers participating returned to their own homes, equipped to serve as strong ambassadors for this cause. The collaborative efforts of those from so many Junior Leagues reflect the motto of the entire Association: "Women building better communities." Never before has this message translated so literally.
For more information, visit the Junior League of New Orleans website.