Arriving in New Orleans to kick off the Ride for the Future marked the beginning of an empowering adventure. Since initial contact the organization emphasizes the input of each individuals opinion for continued growth in the climate change and fossil fuel accountability movement. Local community partners have continued to give our team the opportunity to donate service that could contribute to positive change.
Reverend Deana of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans welcomed our group with open arms and southern hospitality and hosted us at the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal. The center has helped volunteers contribute to the rebirth of New Orleans in concrete ways since Hurricane Katrina. Since we’ve been here our team has worked with Bayou Rebirth and the Columbus Street Children’s Center.
Bayou Rebirth is an organization that promotes wetland restoration and awareness. Our team worked to dig the beginnings of a city rain garden, which is designed to collect and infiltrate runoff from rain events before it can enter a storm drain.
The Columbus Street Children’s Center food bank delivered food to hundreds of families. The team was able to help out during a typical day’s operation, which seemed somewhat chaotic to inexperienced volunteers. As the day flew by I noticed there was an order to the chaos, stemming from a simple notion to feed people.
The ride for the future team has been offered these incredible experiences and it has only been the first week. This summer holds many more opportunities for us. I hope to paint a story that becomes a base for justice.
– Omar Navarro