Junior League of Annapolis Volunteers Help Rebuild a Better New Orleans (10/17/06)

Ianthe Saylor
17 October 2006

Twenty-six Members, Friends and Family are Some of More Than 700 League Representatives to Contribute to Restore Sites

Annapolis, MD [October 17, 2006] – Twenty-six members, friends and family of the Annapolis Junior League joined together with more than 700 national and international members in an overwhelming show of support for the city of New Orleans.  Members traveled from 199 U.S. cities, Canada, and the United Kingdom to the Crescent City to join Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) members and supporters during the weeklong project.

Entitled “Leagues Rebuilding a Better New Orleans,” the all-volunteer effort was held from September 29 through Oct 8. During that time, League members, their families and friends undertook several revitalization projects in devastated parts of the city, particularly around the Freret Street neighborhood that is home to the JLNO Thrift Shop.

The weeklong initiative of the Junior League of New Orleans came to a successful close on Sunday, October 8.  The Junior Leagues Rebuilding a Better New Orleans project mobilized close to 1000 volunteers over the course of nine days and volunteers put in well over 12,000 hours of sweat and determination during the week’s projects. And the fruits of their labor are truly inspiring.
In the Freret St. area, volunteers leave behind many happy homeowners and a renewed neighborhood:

• 25 house projects, including gutting, sheet rocking, painting, flooring, kitchen cabinets and bathrooms, were completed.
• 75 trees and shrubs were planted along the Freret St. corridor and in front of the many restored homes along with general clean-up throughout the neighborhood.
• Cleaning and planting of a community garden and several homeowners’ gardens.
• Major clean-up of the neighborhood cemetery was completed.
At Habitat For Humanity’s Musicians’ Village, sidewalks were poured and painting continued to complete the construction of houses so that homeowners could return. In City Park, clean-up and planting continued throughout the week and by Saturday, October 7, New Orleanians enjoyed a beautified new Popp bandstand that offered hope and celebration over the weekend.

With restoration efforts at Willie Mae’s Scotch House Restaurant, which included painting the restaurant’s exterior and readying sheetrock for interior painting, Miss Willie Mae may be frying up her famous chicken sooner that she thought!

The response from Junior Leagues Rebuilding a Better New Orleans has been overwhelming. By the end of the project, volunteers had made lasting friendships, touched people’s lives and truly made a difference for a community in need. After the 500+ volunteers who came from 200 cities in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. put away their tools and prepared to return to their homes on Sunday, the most common question was, “when can we return?”