'Roadtrip for Relief.' Call for 300 volunteers to gut houses in the 9th Ward

During the winter holidays, Common Ground Collective will coordinate the Holiday Roadtrip for Relief. During our first convergence of volunteers, we cleaned out over 30 homes, the streets around our distribution center, a community center and a women's center. Thanks to the work of all of you, we now have power in all of our 9th Ward locations, an open media center and internet lab, and a 22 minute documentary that will be released next week.IMG_0006.JPG

I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude toward each of you for donating supplies, hard labor, and your creative energy into our projects. Thanks also for enduring the difficult moments along our journey to restoring and rebuilding New Orleans. We have taken your suggestions very seriously, and have now initiated community-led programs in all of our project areas.

During the entire winter holiday season, we will offer food and basic shelter to all volunteers able to arrange transportation and to work within one of our many programs in and around New Orleans.

We need help! Returning residents are offered little or no help from governmental agencies during this difficult period. Huge areas of the city remain without power, and mountains of trash and debris continue to litter the city. Police and military vehicles remain on constant patrol, and a curfew remains in place, poised for selective enforcement.

Common Ground is working with these communities to provide the support needed for residents to return. Our work includes legal teams, food, water and cleaning supply distribution, free medical aid, a community newspaper, anti-eviction work, a women's center, free internet labs, a community radio station, clean up crews, construction crews, environmental restoration and roof repair teams.

By traveling to the New Orleans area and lending a hand, you can offer a sense of hope to returning residents. With your cash donations, you can offer direct support to any of our many programs. By collecting supply donations in your local communities, you can provide the tools necessary to help rebuild New Orleans sustainably, effectively and with justice.

Check the website in the coming days for a new design, updates and for downloadable tools like sample donation letters, wish lists, flyers and more. For information about volunteering during the Holiday Roadtrip for Relief, please email commongroundvolunteers [at] gmail [dot] com or call our volunteer information line at (504) 218-6613.