New Orleans Area HFH: Rebuilding the Big Easy a marathon, not a sprint -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

New Orleans Area HFH: Rebuilding the Big Easy a marathon, not a sprint

Vanessa Anderson, a radiology file technician at Tulane University Hospital, dons a hardhat on the site of her family’s new home in New Orleans.

The Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project allowed New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity to begin construction on 29 new homes during the week. Within one month of the Carter Work Project’s conclusion, seven houses were already finished and ready for families. The rest have all reached at least the halfway point, with many ready for finishing touches.

During the Carter Work Project, New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (NOAHH) had help from hundreds of volunteers from across the United States – and from around the world. Volunteers came from as far away as India, and the largest group actually arrived in the form of 60 volunteers from Canada.

One volunteer in particular stood out. Bertie Flynn works at Kainos Adult Home and Training Center in Redwood City, Calif., teaching adults with developmental disabilities. She wasn’t able to secure time off for the week – so she decided to bring her work with her. Flynn brought six of her students and two chaperones with her to join in the work.

Another notable sponsor and volunteer group was Hospital Corp of America. HCA sponsored a Carter Work Project house in New Orleans – the organization’s 50th Habitat house. The group celebrated by bringing in volunteers that had worked on each of their previous builds to work on the 50th home in New Orleans.

“This group was incredibly geographically diverse,” said Aleis Tusa, NOAHH communications director. “Yet they had two things in common – working for HCA and their love of Habitat builds.

Tusa says the New Orleans affiliate is riding the momentum created by volunteers who so enthusiastically gave of their time and resources during this year’s Carter Work Project.

“If not for the support of our volunteers, none of the goals set forth would have been met,” Tusa said. “Their tenacity to continue even in the face of rain was nothing short of inspiring. Our partner families are still in awe after the outpouring of support from the volunteers and their friendships.”

“We hope all the volunteers had a great time and will come back to work with us again. Rebuilding New Orleans is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

How to volunteer:
Call 504/861-4121, visit or e-mail .