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HANDS and HEARTS HANDS HEARTS GOLD Alumni Help Rebuild New Orleans Eight Years after Katrina I Eight years after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, most of the nation has moved on. But the people of New Orleans are still recovering from the devastation that occurred when the levees broke. In June, members of the GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Alumni group at Seton Hill traveled to the Crescent City with Seton Hill faculty and staff members to work with Habitat for don’t tend to go on vacation very often, but given the opportunity Humanity on to join my fellow alumni on a service trip was exactly the kind rehabilitating several of vacation I needed. Being in a cubicle all day, I tend to lose my homes that were damaged focus on what’s going on in the real world. Working 40 hours a week gets me into a very narrow mindset and completely focused when Katrina struck. on work. Having the chance to get out of that setting and help out those less fortunate was the best way to use my vacation time. We were able to work on four different houses in the four days we were working on the trip. It was great getting to know some of the homeowners. They are no different than all of us that were there helping. They just happened to experience some difficult events that have set them back either financially or physically. I met some new faces among the alumni and built on my current relationships. In relation to the Katrina devastation, I was shocked to still see damage nearly eight years later. Upon arriving to the city we drove past so many abandoned establishments, like a movie theater, pizza shop, and even an entire apartment complex. I can’t believe how many places are still destroyed. It’s heart breaking to know that it’s eight years later, and nothing has come of these abandoned properties. The companies and owners must have just walked away, which I don’t think is right. I wish there was something more we could do. I guess the country moved on to the next disaster, instead of finishing the clean up on Katrina. I think most people assume that the city is back to the way it used to be, but believe me it’s not.” - Elizabeth Rettger ‘10 28 Two of the GOLD Alumni on the trip share their impressions of what they learned from the experience.