Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Red Cross

A quick note from the Red Cross chapter of HHR - we got to throw furniture out of a second story window! As law students, we were pretty excited to engage in such a cathartic and non-academic project.

The Red Cross lost its main office to Hurricane Katrina, and it's temporarily working out of a building just outside the city. The staff is crammed into cubicles, the location is pretty remote, and the office is on the fourth floor of a building with a broken elevator. While Todd, Ryan and I might enjoy racing up the stairs a few times a day (I usually win), clients and volunteers who have lost everything to the hurricane are slightly less enthusiastic about it. The Red Cross was eager to put us to work at the old (permanent) location and clear it out so that renovations could begin. The permanent office is in Mid City, a central location that will enable the organization to reconnect with the New Orleans community.

We worked alongside a few other volunteers, throwing tables, chairs, and miscellaneous office supplies onto the asphalt below, periodically heading outside to load everything into a dumpster. We had planned to load a second dumpster today, but unfortunately, this city is experiencing a major dumpster shortage, so we'll have to go back later in the week after the dumpster has arrived. We were left wondering where exactly these dumpsters unload... if one office could produce this much trash - it took six people the better part of a day to throw it out of a window (not even carry it downstairs) - we can only imagine the magnitude of trash in the city. Nonetheless, we were glad to finish the final gutting, and the renovations will begin shortly.

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