Name: Tiffany Lamm
Hometown: Dinwiddie, Virginia
Major: Accounting and Economics/Business
Going to New Orleans and helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina was one of the best experiences of my life. After all of the presentations and lectures we had the first week of class I felt more prepared than just going down with no background information. The first day of class we played a lot of get to know each other games and things of that sort. Once our groups were created I did not know any of the people that were in my group. This worried me a little but I looked forward to getting to know each person. Now that the trip is over I am very happy with who I worked with everyday and I am glad that I got to enjoy my experience while getting to know such great guys and classmates. Now that we are all back it is weird to wake up and not be greeted by 32 other people or eat breakfast together or make our peanut butter and jelly sandwhices. I even miss our bus rides that took forever to get through the city.
Before going down to New Orleans I had no idea what to expect as far as the work that we were going to be doing while there. After the first day of hard work it made me appreciate the hard work of construction workers and similar career paths such as that of my dad. It also made me think that if we weren't doing this work how would it have gotten done? I realize that we all take a lot of things for granted in our lives, especially myself. It is very hard to not take a lot of things for granted such as the house you live in, the things you own and your family.
The destruction of Hurricane Katrina looks as if it happened last week. The neighborhoods look kind of dead because you have some people working on getting their houses back to phase 1 of rebuilding and some houses look as if they have not been touched at all. Many of the residents that once permanently lived in New Orleans travel to the city during the day to work on their homes and then leave at night to return to their new or temporary homes. There are abandoned cars all over the place that no longer work and were picked up by the water and floated to random places.
Making the decision to go on this trip was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I love helping people and especially when I can help people in a big way. I know there are lots of organizations and other colleges out there doing the same thing that our school did and I wish more people would follow in those footsteps. We only donated two weeks of our time (thankfully our professors and school allowed us to create a class in order to do this) and we saved New Orleans a decent amount of money as well as created relationships with these families that will hopefully continue for a very long time. The feeling I got when we were all done and I saw the look of appreciation and awe on the homeowners' faces was amazing. I know that what we did was definitely worth all of the time, money, and effort that we put into everything.
As a result of the trip I feel very accomplished because we all worked together in our individual teams and separate groups which enabled us to work together as a whole and get so much work done. We all have a bond now that no one else can say that they have. Thanks to everyone that made this trip possible for me (mom and dad :) ) and for our group as a whole. A special thanks to our 3 awesome professors and to Holly and Brent for all of their hard work! And last, but not least thanks to all the NOLAs for the special memories! You guys are amazing!!