Local mission projects and links to joint projects with other organizations are discussed on our Links page.
Ongoing: Rebuilding of New Orleans
From the moment Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005, members from Laurelton have responded in the efforts to rebuild the devastated community. Since March 2006, members have donated many weeks of physical labor and outreach to the Crescent City as well as monies in support and solidarity of the city. We have cooperated with other area churches in this effort via local non-profit organization Rochester Help to New Orleans (RH2NO), currently directed by Laurelton member Sally Altobello. While construction work is the tangible evidence of the mission work, its intangible impact on Orleans is restoring hope to its displaced and disadvantaged citizens. On August 29, 2010, the 5th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, 13 members, along with 11 others from the community, departed once again for Orleans in ministry and in memory of the life of Jamie Smith, a long-time Laurelton member and committed Orleans volunteer who died suddenly in May 2009.
In New Orleans, volunteer work is coordinated by the New Orleans-based organization Project Homecoming. RH2NO works closely with Project Homecoming during and between visits.
RH2NO may be reached by e-mail at RH2NOLA@gmail.com
This year, RH2NO has run out of its long-standing funding through Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester. This means that we will no longer have financial help with expenses related to our rebuilding with Project Homecoming in New Orleans. However, we are still planning three trips for this year as this August is the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and Project Homecoming, at present, has a list of 6,000 families who still are waiting–very patiently!!–to go home.
The onsite cost of a trip to New Orleans, including room, ground travel (vans and gas), and breakfasts & lunches is $375. Volunteers are responsible for arranging their own travel to and from New Orleans – some may want to use accumulated air miles, some may want to find an alternative to flying – car, train, bus, etc.
Dinners are normally enjoyed as a group after site work is done for the day – sometimes hosted by a local church or Project Homecoming, sometimes during team expeditions to the French Quarter or elsewhere.
We will be bunking at the Parkway Presbyterian Church in Metairie (which is 5 minutes away from the airport in a very quiet neighborhood–except for the rooster we sometimes hear in the morning…). The church provides us with one dinner during the week, and the rest of the week we are on our own to explore the culture and cuisine of the Crescent City. The church also provides us with a clean work shirt daily, towels & washcloths daily, and blow-up air mattresses and linens/pillows/blankets (which the veterans will appreciate as that is that much less we must pack–and the beds will be much more comfortable than the bunks at the Volunteer Village!). While at the church, we have use of their kitchen to prepare breakfasts, lunches, and any dinners we choose to make there. Another advantage of staying at Parkway PC is that we will be the only group at the church, rather than sharing accommodations (four toilets, four showers) with 90 people at the Volunteer Village.
Jesus tells us that it is better to give than to receive. He also tells us that it is our responsibility to help those in need. If you would like to join us on such a trip and give of your time to help others go home, please contact Sally via Laurelton. If you are unable to join us on this journey but would still like to donate some extra pennies (or dollars!) to help us, visit Sally Altobello’s Facebook page and donate on the GoFundMe.com account. We are trying to raise enough money to help some who would like to go but truly can’t afford it. We promise you that your donations will be used prudently and with great integrity. Thanks for your support.