Participant Account of JOLT's AWB
Where We Go From Here (By: Roee Dunkelman - Biluim 2012)

Coming into New Orleans for Katrina relief, I was pretty excited. I was looking forward to getting up on my feet by helping Katrina victims, while hanging out with my friends and meeting new ones. I never thought that the first thing that I would say to my parents after I get off the plane would be "sign me

 up for next year." No "Hey. Hi. How are you?" I need to let them know that this was a necessity for me to return back to New Orleans. And here's why: Hearing about how a home that was flooded with water up to 14 feet high, and how a family member died and how everything was ruined; you think that it's such a tragedy. However seeing the water stain on the house, and hearing a person's story first hand, THAT is what makes you say,"I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure that this person suffers no more."

The pain in their voice and sadness in their eyes makes a huge hole in your heart, and it seems as if the only way to fill that hole is to help these people. So that is exactly what we did. For four full days a group of 53 volunteers, took on several relief projects. Although it's not expected that some students can repair a whole city in 4 days, it's not expected that we will save families $400, 000 on utility bills; it's not expected we repair a whole community center or to support 14 families by building 14 homes. That is not what was expected of us. However what was expected of us is that we take our experiences home and continue with our passion to help the people of New Orleans.

This week was only the beginning. We may be done with our work in New Orleans for 2011, but we are most certainly not done with our work.

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