For MLK Week, AmeriCorps members from Rebuilding Together affiliates from across the country gathered for a week of service in New Orleans. It was an opportunity for us to serve our neighbors across the country, reflect on the impact of Dr. King, and so much more. It was a wonderful week full of introspection and teamwork. We AmeriCorps members were reunited with each other, having all met in August 2018 for training in Washington, D.C. Seeing all of these familiar faces during this week strengthened the bond that we established during that week in Washington. For the week, the AmeriCorps members were divided into three groups to do home repairs for three different families, two houses that needed to be completely repainted, and one house where a wheelchair ramp was being built for a disabled veteran.
Andrew and I were assigned to the house that was building the wheelchair ramp for the disabled veteran. The home was located in the historic St Roch neighborhood of New Orleans, which is north of the French Quarter. When we arrived on site on MLK Day, we were greeted by a friendly face. One of our board members, Patty Solecki (who is an AmeriCorps veteran herself from her time at Rebuilding Together Twin Cities) joined us in New Orleans and at our site for a week of service. It was great to be able to share in this experience with a former AmeriCorps member who had herself experienced this.
The week went by in a flash. Andrew and I were responsible for putting in the stringer boards on the ramp, which are the boards that the decking is fixed to. Along with that, we were on the team that constructed the stairs for the ramp, where we poured concrete for the landing and to fix the posts in place. It was a lot of hard work, but aided by the excellent Rebuilding Together New Orleans staff, the ramp build went off without a hitch, it was a nice, gradual build. MLK week was such a great experience for us, we got to see our AmeriCorps friends again, we ate great food in a historic city, and most of all, we served a member of our community.