huntington woman's efforts honor hurricane katrina's 5th anniversary
Posted in the Huntington Forum
#1 Aug 6, 2010
Perry Point, MD — With the 5th year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaching, one local resident is working in communities devastated by the 2005 disaster. Jill Nicola of Huntington is serving with a team of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) members to support the rebuilding efforts of New Orleans. As assistance is further drawn from hurricane relief work due to the oil spill and other natural disasters across the nation, NCCC members like Nicola continues to provide necessary support in the Gulf, five years onward.
Nicola, along with her team, is in the middle of a six week project deployment working with the St. Bernard Project (SBP) in Chalmette, LA. Together the team is working towards SBP’s mission to create housing opportunities so that Hurricane Katrina survivors can return to their homes and communities. The SBP, a non-profit, community based organization carries out its mission through three primary programs: Rebuilding Program, Center for Wellness and Mental Health, and Senior Housing Program.
Nicola states that “it is an incredibly moving and emotional experience being in the New Orleans area during the fifth year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The realization of how many people still do not live in their homes is unbearable. To return people to their homes and to their lives, we need to come together as a community to help our neighbors along the Gulf Coast.”
Based at the NCCC Atlantic Region campus in Perry Point, Maryland, Nicola is one of 219 young people pledging to perform 10 months of public service throughout the country as part of the 16th class of NCCC. Nicola has already served with NCCC for 7 months and will continue to serve until she graduates from NCCC in November.
Through an inter-agency agreement with FEMA and arrangement with the American Red Cross, NCCC members have responded to every national disaster since the program was established. Since Hurricane Katrina, NCCC members from all campuses have served more than 2.7 million hours in the Gulf Coast on over 1040 relief and recovery projects, assisting approximately 3 million people.
AmeriCorps NCCC is a leadership program for young people ages 18 to 24. In exchange for completing 1,700 hours of service during a 10-month term, these young people receive an education award of over $5,000, plus a living stipend, housing and more. AmeriCorps programs are administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency. Interested applicants and project sponsors are encouraged to learn more by visiting www.americorps.gov/nccc or calling 1-800-942-2677.
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