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“Are You Going to Help Other People?”

One of the young volunteers asked me a pertinent question yesterday: “So, when we get done painting your house, are you going to help other people with their houses?”

I confessed that I hadn’t thought about it. I’ve been so focused on our own renovation for almost three years now.

“That’s how some people I’ve talked to got started painting other people’s houses,” he said. “They do it because someone helped them.”

I’ve told myself that my work in various civic groups is a way of helping others, helping my community. But there’s something to be said for helping other individuals directly. I’ve always respected such work, but being the recipient of this help really brings it to life.

Published inMiscellaneousOur House


  1. Anthony Anthony

    As I’ve thought about the outpouring of care and concern this city has seen from people all over this country I can’t help but think a couple things.

    1) How it is incumbent upon us to make New Orleans the best it can be in tribute to both ourselves and these volunteers..

    2) How we need to thank these volunteers for their contributions to our rebirth.

    3) How I personally need to probably do more to help people in similar situations… I look at the flooding in Iowa and, were it not for the fact that I still have much recovery rebuilding to do right here I would like to be there to help them. I hope I can remember this impulse when the last bit of paint is dry.

  2. If you feel like giving back locally, I think your best bet would be to contact Hands On New Orleans…

    local volunteers work alongside volunteers from all over the world at different local charities. They have more variety in projects than any other organization I have seen: Through partnerships with several local agencies, rebuilding, community development, food distribution and animal rescue are all a part of their project catalog.

    I think the best way you could show your appreciation to the volunteers from across the country is truly to work alongside them. They get really shy, and embarrassed when people acknowledge them through plaques and praise, but they love hearing your story, even if it’s as simple as why we stay, and why we love this city.

  3. Be careful. This is exactly how cults get started.

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