Tuesday, April 08, 2008


LOUISIANA: Diocesan efforts bring hope and help to New Orleans

By Lisa B. Hamilton, April 07, 2008
[Episcopal News Service] When the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal funding for case management services will be extended through June 1, the Diocese of Louisiana rejoiced -- and earned some credit.

As The New Orleans Times-Picayune explains, "in late 2005 a partnership of 10 national agencies maintained staffs of case workers paid for by $66 million from international donors. But that money has run out; the network, called Katrina Aid Today, was set to go out of business Monday [March 31], with more than 4,000 Louisiana cases still open. "For months, partner agencies, particularly the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, have been hunting for fresh money to keep paying case workers -- which the FEMA announcement at least partly addressed Friday."

Read the rest here.

All of us who have been there know, the city is recovering, vibrant and amazing--and there is still tons of work to do. You can support the Diocese of Louisiana's efforts financially, through donation of goods/services, or by volunteering. Click here to learn more.

Enough with trying to sound like a PR professional. My heart says this: Go. See the city. Get to know the people. Do the work. You will be given way more than you can imagine, and more than you yourself are giving. You'll barely recognize yourself, when you get home--if you even go home. (I met lots of people who went for a week, and stayed for months.)

I made friends there, and I was changed forever. I am more open and aware of what the world is like, than books and news articles ever would have made me. I have relationships there with people who matter to me. I listened to stories that lodged in my soul--and all I did to receive them, was ask for someone's time. I've been in a church with equal volunteers and locals, and eaten meals with whomever showed up. I was treated incredibly warmly, and the only real word for it all is love.

I'd go back in a New York second. Go.

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