New Orleans It often takes a village and the good will of many people continues to overwhelm in the rebuilding and recovery of New Orleans. A chance connection of old friends and schoolmates from Canada (thanks, Judy Duncan of ACORN Canada) led Nadine Gutz, the Sustainability Director for InterfaceFLOR, a top of the line, environmentally sensitive carpet company, to me. It was an easy problem to solve. The annual sales meeting for more than 200 of their people was being held in New Orleans, and they wanted to lend a hand.
Several weeks later, 30 of their staff teamed up with A Community Voice leaders like Vanessa Gueringer and Franzella Johnson to fan out throughout the still devastated, and now iconic, Lower 9th Ward to knock on doors rather than knocking down doors. This was rebuilding with a message. InterfaceFLOR and A Community Voice were spreading the news about a program they had managed to reinvigorate for youth this coming summer in the Lower 9th for the first time since Katrina more than 5 years ago.
Working out of a church center on St. Claude, the folks from all over the United States, Canada, and Mexico it seems, were jazzed as they came in and dropped off the interest petitions from people who wanted to participate and enroll in the program. Rather than just squinting through tinted windows of a tour bus, they had gone two-by-two up and down the blocks of the Lower 9th spreading the word, Paul Revere style, with some good news for people.
Thanks to InterfaceFLOR and A Community Voice – every little bit still matters, and it’s good to feel the love!