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Long Beach Alumni on Site

People sawing a board.

“It tastes like chicken, but it’s moist. It’s delicious.”

Cameron De Robertis had never been to New Orleans before. He made the most of his trip: he spent his days on the build site, but he made time to see the French Quarter and try a bit of alligator.

He and his partner Quiana Sanchez are alumni of California State University, Long Beach. Quiana volunteered a few years ago with NOAHH on a spring break trip. After seeing the city and helping to build with Habitat a few years ago, she wanted to come back with Cameron.

“This trip made it very apparent to both of us how important service is to one another,” said Quiana. “Because you can’t just take anybody across the country and then get dirty and work hard on site. Not everybody is interested in that. It spoke lot to me about how much he cares about service. The fact that we can do this together means a lot. It’s a huge part of bonding.”

“We appreciate the rich culture of New Orleans,” she said. “We thought it was a travesty that there’s still so much to be rebuilt, 13 years after the storm. It also means getting to experience the city when you come over here, so. Everybody’s into music. There’s live music on every corner. There’s still so much going on that it’s almost like experiencing it for the first time again. you know more what you definitely want to see. It’s always changing and evolving.”

Cameron had volunteered before in California, but this was his first time in New Orleans.

“I will definitely come back,” Cameron said. “I think it’s one of those places it’s necessary to visit.”

Both Quiana and Cameron compared their experiences in California with NOAHH.

“The sites in New Orleans have more volunteers,” said Quiana. “A lot of helping hands over here. A lot of people dedicated to Habitat. They’re really selfless. It’s a lot of people walking a completely different walk of life. They’re kinda exposed to Habitat one way or another. They can’t walk away from it. The most incredible people doing selfless work.”

“My first impression of Habitat was very similar,” said Cameron. “A lot of people who have the means and the passion to do something good for the community.”

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