Good morning. Happy Thursday to all and thanks for popping in today. I’m finally getting my mojo back and finally catching up with my writing. To all the sponsors who generously made this trip possible. I think you have no idea yet how much we were all impacted by this trip and the greater good that likely will come from it as a result, I was honored to be a part of it. KBIS (The Kitchen & Bath International Show), Mr. Steam, Silestone by Cosentino, Poggenpohl, Blanco, DuVerre Hardware, The National Kitchen & Bath Association and Toto. THANK YOU. To my readers, you’ll hear more about these amazing companies in the days and weeks to come, but todays topic takes priority.
Joe was one of our guides for the morning along with Connie Uddo, a volunteer with St.Pauls.Homecoming Center. St. Paul’s has played a significant role in the relief efforts in conjunction with Storehouse of WorldVision.
Before we go much further I’d like to ask all of you to make time today to join me in a dynamic BlogTourNola chat.
Today at tweet chat #blogtournola
For those not on TweetChat or unfamiliar with it how to do it, here is the easiest way to join in.
(Yes you need to be on Twitter)
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The chat will be hosted by Veronika Miller, founder of Modenus and a strong crew of many of us who have just returned from an incredible BlogTour in New Orleans. This trip, I dare say was bittersweet for us all.
Before I write too much about what is going on regarding the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans that would make you think anything other than that I love New Orleans, please read this charming account and you’ll know exactly how I fell in love with this city. For all it has to offer, the good, the bad and the “its a crying shame, it’s the most amazing city we have in this country. A jewel that needs to be cared for and will one day sparkle as it should.
Day 2 of our trip was all about getting out to the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina and meeting some of the companies behind the generous rebuilding effort in the Gentilly neighborhood and listening to the stories of those who “walk the walk”.
The first half of the day was spent with the NKBA (The National Kitchen and Bath Industry) and KBIS ( Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) in the neighborhood of Gentilly, where many weeks prior to the NKBA/KBIS show in New Orleans held April 19-21, The NKBA joined with World Vision /Storehouse and St. Paul’s Homecoming Center to help rehab 3 homes.
All have unique stories but not unique to the overall looming need still in this particular areas.
In the Lower Ninth Ward, many have left to never return. The day was full of some heart wrenching moments, displays of disbelief, signs of hope, people with passion and perseverance and the incredible true grit to survive in a place they call home. This is what makes New Orleans so special.
One thing I know is that it’s hard to look at , but harder to look away.
“The stories of these local families receiving help from The Storehouse of World Vision are tales of strength, compassion, determination and love,” said Connie Udo, director of St. Paul’s Homecoming Center in New Orleans. With the generous support of the Storehouse and the donation of time from numerous skilled volunteers, we are able and proud to help these families rebuild their homes and their lives.”
As a group, we were deeply affected by many of the things we experienced during our second day spent touring homes in the Gentilly neighborhood with Storehouse, a division World Vision and the much talked about Lower Ninth Ward of the city being rebuilt by the highly publicized “Make It Right Foundation”, Founded by Brad Pitt in 2007, ( Second half of our day on tomorrows post) Make It Right builds healthy homes, buildings and communities for people in need. To learn more about these homes, click on the links to understand the concept behind the construction. All Make It Right projects are LEED Platinum certified and Cradle to Cradle inspired – meeting the highest standards of green building.At the end of the day you could drop a pin on our bus back to the hotel.For more information on how to help, volunteer or donate please
The Storehouse of World Vision’s participation in the 2013 national Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, visit www.worldvision.org/crystalvision. For information or to volunteer to help rehab the three New Orleans homes, contact Connie Uddo, Director of the St. Paul’s Homecoming Center at: 504.644-4125.
Don’t miss this opportunity to come and listen or perhaps share your own New Orleans experience or shed some light on the subject. You can offer solutions and engage in meaningful dialog.
The Storehouse of World Vision New Orleans Families
If you want to learn more about this controversial topic which will be discussed for many years to come, read the local paper The Times Picayune, There’s enough material that you can read for weeks and still be quite confused about what really happened in the days, weeks, months and now years proceeding the Hurricane and the break of the levees, but at the end of the day what is real and true is that many people ( 8,000 houses have yet to be rebuilt) are still living in conditions that most of us would be shocked about.
Our BlogTour group was so moved by what we saw in the Lower Ninth War and the Gentilly neighborhoods that we felt, like many who have come before us, that more “effort and action needs to be taken, a light needs to be shone and voices need to call for action. So after a couple weeks Veronika Miller, founder of Modenus and BlogTour was as moved as all of us were and like the tireless “make it happen” kind of woman she is has put together a way for us as a group to “Call for Action”
This story has many twists and turns about how things happened, why enough still isn’t being done and how on earth after 8 years can people still be trying to rebuild. Some amazing organizations have stepped up to the plate to assist but let me say even with this they need so much more. At this point in time they still nee funds and they need physical volunteers on the ground to continue to help people rebuild. You can do just about any job if you make an effort to show up.
It’s all about place and when you have ” pride of place” theres often no decision to make about where you belong.
The posts I’ve begun prior to today about BlogTour New Orleans were all about “The Sunny Side of the Street”.
I love to think of New Orleans that way. Below is a recap of the second half our first day. Enjoy
Day 1 began with an outstanding breakfast at LUKE , a John Besh restaurant that I wrote about on Tuesday of this week. We then hopped the St.Charles Streetcar uptown for a walk in the Garden District, a stroll up gritty and gorgeous Magazine St. visiting numerous interiors and antique shops (for which Magazine Street is known for) curated by our host and New Orleans hot young ( and very hot diggity) designer Shaun Smith.
Meeting his neighbor and mentor interior designer Mrs.Gerrie Bremermann was a true “moment”. She’s one of the cities most significant interior designers of the past 4 decades and is still working as hard as ever with no plans to slow down (very inspiring) Streetcar back to the hotel. Dressed for dinner we had a stop at the gorgeous Ogden Museum to hear one of the countries leading interior designers, Miles Redd speak.
The day ended with an incredible treat, a gourmet dinner with one of sponsors Mr.Steam at Bayona, one of New Orleans finest restaurants.
Tomorrow we’ll look at Brad Pits “Make It Right Foundation. Just my viewpoint.
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