Neighborhood: New Orleans – Church World Service Ecumenical Rebuild

May 1, 2009

Update on CWS Ecumenical Rebuild on the New Orleans Neighborhood: Little Woods Project.

Neighborhood: New Orleans to receive Recognition at National Disaster Relief and Recovery Conference

The Reverend Barbara Kershner Daniel, pastor of UCC Evangelical Reformed Church in Frederick, Maryland, brought a volunteer work group to participate in the first week of the rebuild.  The slides provide a glimpse into the week with Barbara sharing her feelings and observations about the work of rebuilding in Little Woods.   Slide show with voice over by Barbara Kershner Daniel 

The four-week building and repair blitz is bringing more than 500 volunteers from around the country to Little Woods (a community in Orleans Parish)from April 19 to May 15. More than 10 denominations and partners that support CWS are sending volunteers. Individuals are being intentionally mixed into teams from differing denominations. The idea is that by repairing homes for 12 families, the Little Woods neighborhood will be able to accelerate its recovery from the storm.  


Little Woods sits next to Lake Ponchartrain, and sustained catastrophic flooding when Katrina struck Aug. 29, 2005.  It’s a working-class community where neighbors checked on each other’s homes as the storm pushed ashore. Largely vacant since, Little Woods is among a number of New Orleans neighborhoods where the storm’s effects are still visible and complex enough to keep families displaced. 




May 11, 2009




Contact:           Deb Alich, National VOAD



Neighborhood: New Orleans to receive Recognition at National Disaster Relief and Recovery Conference

Neighborhood: New Orleans, Rebuilding Homes, Reclaiming Hope, an ecumenical partnership of Church World Service, is a 2009 recipient of National VOAD’s Innovative Program of the Year. Ten different Church World Service partners are participating including American Baptist,  Brethren Disaster Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, Lutheran Disaster Response, Mennonite Disaster Services, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Reformed Church in America, United Methodist Committee on Relief, and United Church of Christ. Neighborhood: New Orleans will be honored at an Awards Banquet during the Annual Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) Conference in Salt Lake City Utah.


Neighborhood: New Orleans is a program to return 12 families to their homes following a four-week building blitz, which will conclude Friday May 15th. The project is led by Florence Coppola, Executive for National Disaster Ministries for the United Church of Christ, and Bonnie Vollmering, Associate Director for Domestic Emergency Response with Church World Service. While 12 homes is only a fraction of the work left to be done in New Orleans, and all along the Gulf Coast, the hope of the participating groups is that so much progress, all at once and in a concentrated area, will be the type of thing that brings hope to the entire neighborhood.


The 17th Annual VOAD Conference will bring over 400 emergency management and disaster response personnel to Salt Lake City during the week of May 18.  Taking place at the Hilton City Center in downtown Salt Lake, the conference provides opportunities for continuing education, community service, and networking for this valuable collection of agencies and professionals.  On Tuesday, May 19, the conference will be greeted by Pamela Atkinson, speaking on behalf of many Utah-based non-profits and bringing welcome on behalf of Governor Huntsman. On Wednesday, May 20, one thousand (1,000) hygiene kits and clean up buckets will be assembled during a service project incorporated into the conference to benefit Salt Lake City community based organizations.


National VOAD, or Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, is a national coordinating body for every major community-based and faith-based disaster response organization, including the American Red Cross, LDS Charities, The Salvation Army, and Feeding America.  The member organizations of National VOAD focus on all stages of disaster:  preparedness, relief, response, recovery, and mitigation.  Working collaboratively, the members of National VOAD are the driving force behind disaster recovery in the United States.



To learn more about National VOAD and the work of its member organizations, visit





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