Gulf Coast Service Trips
Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Follen responded. And still does.
Follen Church’s initial service trip was in April 2006, just eight months after Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans. A group of 14 adults and youth drove down to NOLA and stayed a week in Violet, located in St. Bernard’s Parish. We were shocked by what we saw and at how much was untouched: there were still boats resting on the median strip and on the side of the road; houses sat with their walls ripped open like wounds; there were vehicles in trees; there were bare slabs of concrete where houses once stood; there was debris everywhere. The devastation was widespread. We realized the images we had seen in newspapers or on TV had not begun to convey the extent of the damage.
Since that initial trip and another seven months later in November, Follen Church has sent two trips every year to the Gulf to volunteer to help with the clean up and to rebuild. A total of more than 240 volunteers from have participated. Some return year after year, trip after trip, and, importantly, on every trip there have also been people going for the first time. For those able to volunteer, the trips have been life-changing experiences.
The trips continue
The need is still there. Our trips to NOLA continue; we remain committed to the people of New Orleans. We are living our UU principles through this work, with the support of the greater Follen community.