Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more about the project and the situation in the region as Anderson reports live from New Orleans on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.
AC360° Coordinating Editorial Producer
Is the economy hurting volunteerism? Not in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. I spent yesterday afternoon touring the business offices of the St. Bernard Project and was amazed at how much co-founders Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg have going on. Right now, they have 35 houses in some phase of rebuilding. By Wednesday, they will have completed their 200th home in this parish that was so devastated by Katrina.
When I talked to them about donations to the organization, they said while they can always use more, they haven’t seen any significant drop off in donations so far, and that is helping more and more families move back to the homes they love.
After touring the offices, I went to the home where we’ll be tonight bringing you the latest on the economy. The home is about two weeks away from when the homeowner will move in. She wasn’t there, but I heard from several of the volunteers about how excited she is to finally get back into the home in which she grew up.
The St. Bernard Project is making so much progress and will be expanding soon. I’m not sure I can give you all of the details yet, but hopefully Anderson can tonight.
After I finished my visit with the volunteers at the SBP, I made the drive to the Lower 9th Ward. The last time I was in that area, Hurricane Gustav was hitting and the waters of the Industrial Canal were lapping over the rebuilt levee. It’s amazing how much has been done for those who want to move back to that neighborhood, with several houses from the Make It Right Foundation already occupied and many in the process of being built. I ran into many people trying to break ground on a new home, and they were not letting the light rain deter their efforts.
While on my trek through some areas familiar to the 360 gang, I stopped by Mr. Herbert Gettridge’s home. Nobody was there, but I’m hoping to get by there today and say hello. I will let you know how it goes!
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