Day 298: An Important Post on Emergency Communities

by Claire Adams Williams,

You have heard Claire and Lara say this before: There are many places to help do good things and learn new ideas in this big world of ours, and this is but one. However, it is a good one, and if you know someone who might be interested, please forward this on to them.

Today, I (Claire) am going to write about Emergency Communities, the awesome non-profit I stumbled upon in New Orleans last week. But when I say write about, I mean that I am just going to shamelessly copy and paste the already well-written stuff from the Emergency Communities site here.

First, though, I'll give you my video introduction to the organization with our new software. My craftiness abounds.

In their words, Emergency Communities is a non-profit organization that employs compassion and creativity to provide community-based disaster relief. Since Katrina, they have operated four relief sites, served over 300,000 meals and 25,000 residents of the Gulf. They are a United Way Partner Agency.

Mission: Emergency Communities’ mission is to rehabilitate disaster-stricken areas through the creation of temporary community centers based on service, compassion, and creativity.

: Emergency Communities’ vision is to create a network of continually evolving sites that cater to the needs of America’s most devastated communities.


In the days following Hurricane Katrina, volunteers poured into the gulf coast, alone and in groups, without ties to any large organization. Teams of people, sometimes with nothing but a pick-up truck and a few tools, went from house to house to help the elderly pull their pets and possessions from the rubble. Relief kitchens sprung up in some of the most devastated areas. Each day found more people staying to work from empathy alone. They slept in tents, ate what they could, and slowly energized broken towns and desperate people.

Emergency Communities was born of these efforts. We met in abandoned parking lots and campgrounds across the Gulf, from Biloxi, Gulfport and Waveland, Mississippi to New Orleans and Slidell, Louisiana. We shared our experiences and resources, coordinated the shipment of donated goods and built relief kitchens and community centers. The disaster area became our home, and providing relief became our single, unifying goal.

Contact Emergency Communities:

4316 Baronne St.
Suite D
New Orleans, LA 70115
(917) 442-8900

P. S. If you remember from my post on Day 296, the strangest part of the Emergency Communities day was discovering that a boy I went to junior high with, Mischa Byruck, had started the organization. And the only reason we had found them at all was thanks to their Google grant which gives them promptly popping up key words when one types in such words as "Volunteer" "New Orleans" and "Katrina." Ah, the computer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It Looks like the Organization is doing great stuff! Keep at it!

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