Katrina left a profound impact on New Orleans, which was still evident when my fiancé and I visited there this past summer, during the peak of the BP oil spill crisis. The city is definitely healing (thanks to amazing volunteers and the New Orleans Saints), but there is still a great deal of need. While the French Quarter and other more touristy areas have recovered, huge portions of the city are still trying to make a comeback.
|A wedding in Jackson Square New Orleans, photo by Nicole Nichols|
As native Louisianians, New Orleans was a logical choice for us for our wedding. It allowed us to help the local economy and also be near family and friends. A New Orleans wedding might not be an option for everyone, but looking for a special place that could use your dollars is a great way to start.
As a special spotlight, here are just a few charities in NOLA that are making a difference by rebuilding in New Orleans post-Katrina:
Make it Right
You might recognize Mr. Brad Pitt, the founder of Make it Right, which works in the 9th ward (my dad’s neighborhood growing up) in the area where the levee breached to build sustainable homes for low-income families.
Friends of New Orleans
This group aims to “inform people of those key issues that are shaping the national debate and decision making of the rebuilding effort, link individuals who want to help with the communities in the devastated areas and motivate people to take part in the rebuilding effort.”
Rebuilding Together New Orleans
Rebuilding Together New Orleans is a program of the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans that focuses on helping residents in Orleans Parish by using a combination of volunteer and professional labor.
Find out more about how you can be a voluntourist in New Orleans. During the course of the year, I'm hoping to spotlight even more great organizations in NOLA and elsewhere. Please let me know about ones near you!
Safe travels and Happy Thanksgiving to all!