Pleading for Bodies

1000’s of homes in the New Orleans area need to be gutted and activists there arepleading for people to come help…

New Orleans desperately needs volunteers for the dirty yet necessary job of gutting flooded homes, relief groups said Wednesday.

“We’re inviting the country and the world to give to our city a gift of hope,” said Mary Fontenot of All Congregations Together. “We must get the world here to New Orleans. There are thousands of houses that need to be gutted. Come down to New Orleans, for a week, for a month. We build our homes, we build our city.”

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Gutting in New Orleans has become a daily part of most residents’ lives, because the battered homes stretch from eastern New Orleans to the Lakefront to Uptown. The process involves tearing out all moldy belongings and then stripping the walls down to the studs, and hauling the ruined Sheetrock or plaster to the curb.

A single gutting job can save a homeowner $3,000 to $5,000, and it also serves as the emotional starting point for a family’s rebuilding.

It’s also become a mandate from the City Council, one whose deadline has already passed, Aug. 29, the one-year anniversary of the disaster.

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“Money is helpful,” said Sabin, a volunteer. “But at this point, I’m so much happier when someone calls and says, ‘I’m bringing 20 people down for a couple of days.’ “

Volunteers can register online at http://www.nolahomefortheholidays.org or call (504) 218-6613.

I hope you will consider going down for a weekend. You will never regret having helped someone start to get their life back on track.