For a mere ten bucks, I signed on to partipate in ALA’s Libraries Build Communities work day. Due to an e-mail mixup, I missed the opportunity to select my project, so I was assigned to the St. Bernard Project. This is a nonprofit group working to help those still displaced by Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed or damaged 100% of the homes in this parish.
Eighteen librarians were bused to two houses (nine on each team), and we worked for 6 hours removing debris from inside the house, mowing down the weeds in front, removing the brushy jungle that had grown up in the back, and painting the street side of the house.
Just as we were wrapping up, Kevin, the owner, stopped by with his son to thank us for helping to take his house one step closer to rehabilitation. They’ve been living in their truck for the past 6 years, unable to afford the repairs necessary to make the house habitable again.
Although the weather was hot, we had plenty of water, and a nice breeze for most of the day. Altogether, a satisfying way to give a homeowner a leg up, and great advertising for the library!