Friday, March 26, 2010

March 26, 2010, Are you a leader? If so, SBP needs you!

Hi everyone! My name is Matt Haines and I am a member of the St. Bernard Project's Development Team. One new project I am working on is the expansion of our Campus Initiative program.

Lately, our organization has spent a lot of time critically thinking about the way we engage our volunteers after they leave New Orleans and return home. As a development team member, we have the privilege of speaking with volunteers at the end of their volunteer week. For them -- they have just come off a week of rebuilding, a week of meeting homeowners, a week of seeing the devastation that remains and a week of being swept up by New Orleans' oft-mentioned charm.

By the time we talk to them at the end of that week, they are charged up and excited to continue to help rebuild New Orleans.

But then they get home, and life starts to take back over. Work, school and a social life all return to their rightful places and New Orleans gets further and further away. So many great people, with incredible hearts, start to think, "I'm so far away. What can I do from home that will be as helpful as volunteering in New Orleans and rebuilding Ms. Grimaldi's home."

The truth is...A LOT!

And that sense of empowerment is what we hope to capture through our Campus Initiative. New Orleans is one of our country's greatest treasures, and its people are some of the most unique on this planet. One of the best parts of this job is that we get to spend time around the clients we serve; and one thing that is really clear is that so many of them are overwhelmed that men and women from across our country -- from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine -- want to help THEM recover and rebuild.

That is what Campus Initiative is all about. College and high school groups from each of our states, united in helping rebuild the homes and lives of American citizens. Not only does it give New Orleans a boost of energy to know that we have your support, but -- together -- the funds we can raise and the number of volunteers you can recruit can have a HUGE impact.

So let's do it. Together. If you are interested in joining our Campus Initiative, please email me at

If you think you know someone who would be great for this, please forward this entry along. Welcome to the team.

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