If only every Islamofascistfearmongering wingnut who has ever whined about NOLA wouldread this and act and believe as these great kids do…
NEW ORLEANS—Sixteen-year-old Caitlin Leavey remembers
people — some she didn’t even know — coming to her family’s aid with
food and comfort when she lost her father in the Sept. 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
On Wednesday, she and more than a dozen other young people who lost
parents in the attacks were hanging siding on a house in New Orleans —
their way of helping a city and its residents recover from the loss and
destruction inflicted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“It feels so
good to be able to give back,” said Leavey, her hair pulled back in a
ponytail and blue bandanna as she hammered away. “I know what they went
through. I know what we went through, and I wanted to give back.”
The youngsters, ranging from 9th- to 12th-graders, arrived in New
Orleans on Sunday with the help of Tuesday’s Children, an organization
that provides support to family’s affected by the Sept. 11 attacks.
“It helps so much to be here because we’re working with people who
have been through what we’ve been through and care just as much as we
do,” said 17-year-old Thea Trinidad, a 17-year-old senior at Stonington
High School in Pawcatuck, Conn.
According to the adult chaperones on hand, there’s an importance to the visit that goes beyond helping storm victims.
heals,” said Candy Cucharo, the program director for Tuesday’s
Children. “Doing for others, you’re no longer viewed as the one needing
help. Helping others builds resistance and helps strengthen your mental
and emotional well-being.”
Leavey was 10 when she lost her
father, a firefighter with the Latter 15 Fire Department in Pelham,
N.Y. She said the New Orleans visit was a rewarding way to honor his
“My dad was always helping people, painting and fixing
the firehouse, just doing whatever he could do,” she said. He even
helped a woman get her cat down from a tree.
“He was great,” she said, smiling.