The St. Bernard Project has played a vital role in the recovery of St. Bernard Parish, which was all but entirely destroyed as a result of Hurricane Katrina. St. Bernard Parish—which borders Orleans Parish and New Orleans‘s devastated Lower Ninth Ward—was once home to an ethnically diverse, hard-working blue collar community home to 67,000 residents. In the wake of Katrina, all 27,000 homes were rendered uninhabitable and 14,000 businesses were lost, leaving all survivors within the community displaced.
In March of 2006, Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg founded the St. Bernard Project, an independent non-profit organization with the goal of restoring the community in St. Bernard Parish in the Greater New Orleans area by rebuilding homes for families displaced by Katrina. The rebuilding program, supported entirely by volunteer labor under the direction of skilled supervisors and charitable funding for building supplies, provides assistance to financially burdened families including the elderly and disabled, as well as families with small children.
With the help of over 18,000 volunteers, 262 rebuilding projects have been completed, allowing families in the Greater New Orleans area previously living in cramped FEMA trailers or displaced elsewhere by Katrina to move back into their homes, with 50 more projects currently in progress.
In January of 2009, the St. Bernard Project began an additional program, the Community Wellness and Mental Health Center at the office of the St. Bernard Project, offering services to both groups and individuals in the Greater New Orleans area to provide necessary aid to the psychological as well as well as the physical rebuilding process in the wake of Katrina.
There are a number of ways by which you can get involved and be a part of the rebuilding process of the lives of those affected by Hurricane Katrina and the community of St. Bernard Parish in the Greater New Orleans area. You can volunteer for a build project or make a tax-deductible donation through the St. Bernard Project website. You can also help by hosting a fundraiser or by simply spreading awareness through the St. Bernard Project Fan Page on Facebook, through which fundraising is also possible as well as simple to do.
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