Recovery Work Continues in New Orleans

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Dick and Margaret Van Oord are passionate about volunteering with Disaster Response Services, part of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee. And they often share their experiences with their home church.

So when they challenged others in their small congregation in Fredericton, New Brunswick, to join them on a work site, it wasn’t hard to recruit a full team. In late February, 19 members departed for New Orleans to help with reconstruction efforts, repairing homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

“There is still a lot of devastation there,” said team member Anne-Marie Hood. “It will be a long time before it is fully restored.”

The team from Fredericton helped a number of families take one step closer to being back in their own homes. Together they painted, completed drywall work, and repaired roofs. Volunteer teams from other churches took up where they left off.

“Those we helped were very appreciative,” said Hood. “They’ve been waiting so long to get back into their homes.”

“As volunteers, we were also blessed,” she said. “We worked together, ate together, prayed together. It was wonderful to spend a week together in this way.”

About the Author

Rachel Boehm Van Harmelen is a writer and consultant specializing in communications for nonprofit organizations. She and her husband, Peter, have four children and live in Fall River, Nova Scotia, where they attend All Nations Christian Reformed Church