Cutoff- Spring Break, 2007
This video was put together by students from across the country who worked with the Cutoff Community over the summer of 2006.
It may be fading into the memories of many not directly affected, but it has barely been a year and a half since the most active hurricane season in United States history. Many storms, most notably Katrina and Rita, devastated the gulf coast- directly causing at least 1,800 deaths and devastating the lives of over one million people. The aftermath of the storm has left many neighborhoods deserted, and others, like the Cutoff community, located on the West Bank of New Orleans in Algiers, survived the storm but remain crippled. Originally named for a canal dug in the area, the Cutoff now serves as a reflection of the status of the community following Hurricane Katrina.
Last summer, two Swarthmore students, Nicole Nfonoyim and Marissa Davis, experienced both the tragedy and the potential of this community. Working with about 120 children, ages 4-17, often utilizing whatever could be scraped together, aided in the revitalization of the local community center. Amidst the unfortunate circumstances of this community, this center has come to serve as a beacon of hope, a place of refuge and safety for the many kids of this community. Swarthmore Katrina Relief seeks to work with, Nicole, Marissa, other interested volunteers, as well as the local communities, in bringing back this important social institution.
We have already raised money to cover our travel expenses for this coming break. We are asking for your help in bringing much needed supplies to this community. Even a little, whether it is a monetary pledge of $5 or $500, or the purchasing of an item on the attached wish list, will be greatly appreciated. Any contributions can go a long way for these children.