Supporting Our Neighbors: Disaster Relief

The incredible support New Orleans received from our neighbors following Hurricane Katrina has not been forgotten.

People from around the world gave us shelter or came to New Orleans to help rebuild when it looked like all was lost, and our neighbors in Baton Rouge opened their arms and took in thousands of New Orleanians in need. When heavy rains turned into catastrophic flooding in the Baton Rouge area in August 2016, NOAHH—and all New Orleanians—knew we had to step up and help our friends to the west.

Immediately after the floods, NOAHH reached out to our sister affiliate in the area. We sent teams to help gut flooded homes and engage in mold remediation, collected and delivered donations to the affected areas, and connected those in need with resources. Volunteers from Sheraton Hotels helped gut homes, and our friends at Honey Baked Ham provided lunches for the hard working teams. As many who have participated in relief efforts or had to face the task of gutting their own home know, it’s heartbreaking but essential work. Yet there are moments of joy amidst the pain, such as when NOAHH volunteers recovered a homeowner’s wedding ring.

In February 2017 a category three tornado struck New Orleans East, a part of the city where NOAHH has built over 100 homes.Thankfully all of our partner families were safe, but many others suffered devastating losses. NOAHH volunteers answered the call and spent days tarping roofs, clearing out homes and yards, and providing necessities like bottled water and even emotional support to affected homeowners. One homeowner, a New Orleans firefighter, worked alongside NOAHH volunteers on his one day off. Spending the day clearing out and gutting his home brought a sense of community for him and our locals who wanted to support each other.

In August 2017, a hurricane brought major flooding to the Gulf Coast, this time in Texas and southwest Louisiana. Repaying the kindness that our neighbors showed us in 2005, NOAHH reached out and coordinated with affiliates in the impacted communities, working with them on the best ways to offer support and providing advice based on our experiences during our own time of need.

Through the support of volunteers and donors—who were immediately calling the affiliate to see how they could help—NOAHH was able to help our neighbors when they needed it most. Once more, the coordination throughout the local community inspired us in its ability to lift each other up when it was most needed, and once more, we say thank you!

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