On Saturday, August 29th, The American Red Cross joins with Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the City of New Orleans in one of the most comprehensive and unique service initiatives in the country. The Citywide Day of Service will commemorate the spirit of volunteerism of the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina’s impact on the city. The Red Cross will be offering volunteer opportunities that highlight the preparedness initiatives and lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina. In addition, the Louisiana Region of the Red Cross invites Red Cross Chapters from across the nation to join in the World’s Largest Pillowcase Project, to raise awareness for disaster preparedness and join together in service to honor the many volunteers who have served those affected by Katrina.
The Red Cross will be hosting the following service opportunities stationed at and/or deploying from each of the six city-designated neighborhoods: A.L. Davis Playground in Central City; Einstein Chart School in New Orleans East; Sanchez Center in Lower 9th Ward/Florida/Desire neighborhood; Pontchartrain Park in Lakeview/Gentilly; Lafitte Greenway in Treme/7th Ward; and Behrman Stadium in Algiers.
To volunteer for this Citywide Day of Service, register at Katrina10.org/serve and be sure to sign up to volunteer with the American Red Cross once volunteer shifts become available!
The World's Largest Pillowcase Project
Hurricane Katrina highlighted the need to create better prepared communities. An initiative born in Post-Katrina New Orleans, "The Pillowcase Project" teaches children how to prepare for emergencies, practice what they have learned, and share their knowledge with family and friends. Through the help of our friends at Disney, each child is given a pillowcase to create their own emergency preparedness kit at home and they are encouraged to decorate their pillowcase. On August 29th, Red Cross chapters throughout the world will host a local Pillowcase Project presentation on this day, in conjunction with the New Orleans Citywide Day of Service.
In the New Orleans Area, Red Cross volunteers will be hosting Pillowcase Project presentations throughout the Citywide Day of Service as part of the Health-Wellness-Opportunity Fairs in the six service site areas of the city. Volunteers and community members are encouraged to stop by and learn more about disaster preparedness and join in The World's Largest Pillowcase Project! Red Cross is pleased to have over 50 community partner organizations also joining in this effort by contributing their own decorated pillowcases for this day.
Volunteer instructors are needed to help conduct Pillowcase Project presentations in the six service neighborhoods. Instruction includes educating participants in disaster preparedness and walking them through building emergency kit and decorating their pillowcase. Training will be provided.
Home Fire Safety Campaign
In the years following Katrina, Red Cross volunteers in south Louisiana targeted neighborhoods that traditionally flooded during storms and began walking door-to-door to provide their neighbors with hurricane preparedness information and evacuation guides and other safety information. This evolved into our Fire Safety Canvassing initiative. Today, the Canvassing Toolkit in a Box prepares households nationwide for the most common disaster: home fires.
American Red Cross Volunteers, with the New Orleans Fire Department and our friends at the Youth Leadership Council (YLC), will be visiting residents in the six Citywide Day of Service neighborhoods to teach people how to be prepared for home fires and install smoke alarms where needed.
Volunteers are needed to work in teams to go door-to-door to discuss fire safety and other emergency preparedness techniques with residents. Volunteers will provide fire safety materials, including information about smoke alarms, creating a household fire escape plan and tips for cooking and heating a home safely. The volunteers also will work with residents in need of smoke alarms; firefighters will install smoke alarms where needed.
Service Site Canteens
When disaster strikes, American Red Cross disaster workers travel to the neighborhoods of those in need, providing food, water and comfort. For the Citywide Day of Service on August 29th, American Red Cross volunteers will be handing out water and an encouraging smile to the many volunteers who will be serving at each of the six service sites. Red Cross Emergency Response vehicles will also be traveling to various service projects to deliver water to volunteers.
Volunteers are needed to help distribute water and a friendly smile at the six service sites and from the Emergency Response Vehicles.