“Pass the Hammer” on the Creole Queen
Over 500 active service AmeriCorps, alumni, Habitat staff, partner families, and friends gathered on the Creole Queen Sunday night to celebrate the end of the first week of Build-A-Thon and “pass the hammer” from the first week’s group to the second. The celebration took place on the paddlewheeler the Creole Queen on the Mississippi River, and Big Sam’s Funky Nation entertained the guests during a short cruise by the picturesque riverfront along the French Quarter. NOAHH executive director Jim Pate and Habitat for Humanity’s first volunteer Clive Rainey spoke to the gathered crowds before the party, thanking the first week’s group for their hard work and welcoming the second to the second phase of the 2015 AmeriCorps Build-A-Thon.
The first week, AmeriCorps members from around the country took ten homes from floor system to various stages of completion. Most of the roofs, drywall, and siding are in on all of the houses, and the second week’s crew will be taking them all the way to completion in time for the dedications on Saturday (barring unforeseen meteorological circumstances), a crowning achievement that honors the contribution AmeriCorps members have been making to the New Orleans area for years, especially since the hurricanes of 2005. Service members from NCCC, VISTA, and the National Direct programs have been part of the NOAHH staff from even before the storms and levee failures, and without their help, the 450 homes, 2400 gutted houses, 100 ABWK projects, and so much more would not have been possible. New Orleans Habitat could not be more grateful for their hard work!