The Great Crawfish Adventure: ReNew Orleans With My UCC Church Family! - My Family Travels

This past summer I went to New Orleans, Louisiana and helped the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Many of the people in need were still homeless and did not even have the basic necessities needed for survival.

Before traveling to New Orleans, I had never experienced poverty. When our youth group arrived, we saw destroyed neighborhoods and abandoned houses that were still boarded up from the storm. The houses that were occupied were not much better than the abandoned ones. Even though it had been years since the storm, the house of Mr. Don Edwards was still missing all its doors and the car engine deposited inside his house by the flood remained in his living room.  In addition to the storm damage, Mr. Edwards was also victimized when someone stole all his tools to repair his home. We spent hours clearing debris and moved inside to remove the water damaged floors. This was difficult since there was no air conditioning or light, but Mr. Edwards got down on his own hands and knees to help us. When a friend of mine asked Mr. Edwards how he was doing he responded with “Wonderful, now that y’all are here.”

Our group also fixed up two more homes and a high school that had been shut down the year before. The school was in dire need of new floors and paint.  When our group arrived, we found ourselves working along many of the school’s old students who wanted it to be repaired for the upcoming year.

My trip taught me that giving back is important and has influenced my career goals. I have become interested in Pre-Law.. After helping those that suffered in Katrina, I want to be a voice for the underprivileged. Since traveling to New Orleans, I have had dreams of going back as well as traveling abroad so that I may help as many people as I possibly can in my lifetime.

Thank you for your consideration for this scholarship.

Safe travels,

Emily Topper

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