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Remembering Katrina: Volunteers still needed on Gulf Coast

By Mary Frances Schjonberg
8/21/2006

ENS Photo by David Skidmore
The Diocese of Virginia's convoy of eight donated pick-up trucks arrives decorated with bows at Camp Coast Care May 8.   (ENS Photo by David Skidmore)

 
[Episcopal News Service]  Long-term recovery efforts continue on the Gulf Coast a year after Hurricane Katrina devastated the region on August 29, 2005. Volunteers are still needed to help in that work.

Camp Coast Care (CCC) on the campus of Coast Episcopal School in Long Beach, Mississippi, operates a recovery and reconstruction ministry to those in need on the Mississippi Gulf Coast as well as considering itself to be a "Christian community of faith that provides welcome and hospitality to any volunteer wishing to serve in the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort," according to the camp's website. The camp's operations are about to move into a new facility that will be fully air conditioned and will accommodate up to 100 volunteers a night.

Although there is a critical need for skilled construction laborers, there are ample opportunities for participants at all levels of skill. Opportunities include rebuilding homes damaged by Katrina, building one- and two-bedroom cabins for those still needing permanent housing, working with the camp's case-management in-take system and working at the CCC site, in the kitchen, tool shed, office, and other places.

Information about how to volunteer through the camp is available here

The Diocese of Louisiana also continues to welcome volunteers.

"We are grateful beyond words for the efforts that so many have put forth in organizing volunteer groups coming to Louisiana," volunteer coordinator Holly Heine says on the diocese's website. "It is because of caring groups and individuals ... that so many hurricane victims are able to begin to rebuild their lives. This process of relief and recovery will be going on for quite some time."

Current volunteer operations include house gutting and clean-up, working with the diocese's mobile respite care unit, working at a parish-based distribution center, and working at the New Orleans St. George's Episcopal Church Dragon Café which serves hot meals to neighbors, construction workers, the homeless, parishioners and volunteers.

The volunteer section of the diocese's website contains all the information potential volunteers need.