We were giant marshmallows on a mission. These elastic hooded, scrunched at the ankle jumpsuits were revolting. Our mission was to take out multiple kitchen cabinets. The cabinets were drenched with water and were covered in black mold. We were in New Orleans with our youth group helping rebuild the disaster that Hurricane Katrina left behind.
It had been 6 months since the tragic storm had hit. People all around were still cleaning up: gutting, rebuilding, and roofing their houses. Our youth group was assigned many such tasks as those.
When a disaster occurs people simply realize what is really important to them. People focus on the disaster that just occurred, and that they could have lost someone special to them at any point. Things that seemed important like work and school are less important. The focus turns to relationships and how to make bad ones good and good ones better.
There were many other organizations down there helping as well. Some groups stayed for weeks at a time, while others stayed for a few days, but any time was put to good use. There were people from all over the country there helping out the victims who needed it. It really showed how people can come together to reach a common goal.
The recovery relief organization we went through helped other groups have the opportunity to come down and rebuild. They assigned us our designated houses that we had to work on. These houses were the ones we worked on the rest of the week.
Many people raised money and went down to help with the recovery efforts. We got to work with people from Pella to better our efforts with a larger group. We ended up getting a lot of work done while having fun. I believe that disasters can bring people together.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.