Alternative Spring Break: New Orleans
March 19-25, 2012
Why New Orleans?
New Orleans has a unique culture and history that is unlike any other major American city. It is known for its combination of French and Creole influences, as well as its distinctive architecture, cuisine, jazz music, and art. Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in August 2005, leaving at least 1,836 people dead and costing the United States $108 billion in damages. Low-income families with substandard housing were disproportionately affected by this natural disaster, and even after six years there is a substantial amount of rebuilding that needs to be done.
Why Habitat for Humanity?
Habitat for Humanity provides low-income families who may not qualify for a traditional bank home loan a chance to attain the goal of homeownership. Rather than requiring a traditional down payment, Habitat requires Partner Families to contribute 350 hours of “sweat equity” to the building of their home. New Orleans Habitat strives to not only move families out of substandard housing, but also prepare them for successful homeownership and future financial security.
Logistics: We will leave Birmingham on Monday, March 19th, and return on Sunday, March 25th. We will be travelling in a rented 15 passenger van down to New Orleans.
Description of service: Our work with Habitat will include a number of construction-related activities, from painting to dry-walling to flooring. However, construction skills are not required to be a participant on this trip! Habitat accepts volunteers from all skill levels and provides the supervision and tools required for you to be successful. All you need to bring is a positive work ethic.
Housing and meals: We will be staying at Camp Hope, a volunteer housing center run by St. Bernard Parish. All three meals will be provided by Camp Hope, except on our day off from volunteering. There will be a number of other college volunteer groups staying here, which will provide a great opportunity to meet people from other schools.
Recreational Activities: There are plenty of fun things to do in New Orleans on our day off from working with Habitat. Although trip participants will help decide what activities we do, options include (but are not limited to) eating beignets at Café DuMonde, strolling around the French Quarter and Garden District, taking a tour of the city by streetcar, and exploring the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum.
Cost: The trip will cost $250. A $50 nonrefundable deposit (checks payable to Samford University) is due at the time you submit your application, and this amount will be applied to the total cost of the trip. Your deposit effectively holds your spot on the trip.
Timeline for Applications: There are only 10 spots available on this trip, so it is strongly encouraged to sign up sooner rather than later! Applications are available in a folder outside UC 111 or in the "Files" section on the lefthand toolbar, and they will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. The final deadline to apply is Wednesday, February 22nd. Please submit applications and deposits to Anna Brown in UC 111.