As Hurricane Isaac bears down on the US Gulf Coast, seven years to the day of Katrina doing the same and worse, I still can’t forget these simultaneous images from August 29 and 30:
The rage I felt back then has never really subsided (nor should it, I think) but I got the opportunity to channel it into something productive when Darcy and I took a vacation down to New Orleans in October 2010 and spent a day volunteering with the St. Bernard Project. We spent a Monday afternoon with a dedicated group of volunteers, smearing spackle over drywall and trying to rebuild a neighbourhood still devastated after five years.
Today, St. Bernard Project writes:
While Isaac’s path is still uncertain, today our staff and volunteers are working with our current and past clients, making sure their homes are secure and they have an evacuation plan in place.
SBP needs your help to purchase materials and supplies necessary to secure the 40+ homes that are currently under construction. And more than ever, we need your help to continue our work rebuilding New Orleans long after the threat of Tropical Storm Isaac has passed.
Seven years to the day of Katrina, I made a small donation to help and I hope you may too.
There are still some who say, “Why bother?” Why bother trying to rebuild an area that just gets pummeled by a major storm at least once a decade? But you could say the same about cities built on fault lines or below sea level or at minus zero six months of the year. We bother because they’re people’s homes. And when terrible things happen to good people (as they always will), we must step up and pitch in. Otherwise, well, why bother?