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Student Affairs staffers rebuild St. Bernard homes for Christmas project

Loyola press release - December 13, 2010

Staffers in Loyola University New Orleans’ Office of Student Affairs are taking the notion that it is better to give than receive to heart this holiday season. For the second year in a row, staff members will give up their office holiday party to spend a day volunteering with the St. Bernard Project, rebuilding homes of Katrina survivors. On Thursday, Dec. 16, 38 volunteers are scheduled to work from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

M.L. “Cissy” Petty, Ph.D., vice president for student affairs and associate provost, said “Our work with the SBP last year was so meaningful that we’ve decided to make it our annual holiday event together. This year, we will work side by side and enjoy the true spirit of the season!”

The St. Bernard Project is a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization that helps Katrina survivors rebuild their homes and lives. Using volunteer labor, the SBP takes gutted houses and makes them livable again in fewer than 12 weeks and with only $15,000 worth of building supplies.“We are very thankful for the continued support that the Loyola community has shown. Students, faculty and staff have all been excellent volunteers, and we hope that they will continue to be generous with their time and energy,” said Laura Prigoff, volunteer coordinator with the SBP.

“While this volunteer day is definitely meaningful for the owners of the homes that we are working on, there are still more than 150 families on our waiting list, and we would like to give them the gift of home as well.”

Since it began rebuilding in St. Bernard Parish in July 2006, SBP has rebuilt more than 330 homes with the assistance of more than 27,000 volunteers. The organization has expanded its rebuilding model into several areas of New Orleans, including the Lower 9th Ward, Gentilly and New Orleans East, and will replicate these services nationwide for post-disaster recovery.

For more information on the St. Bernard Project or to volunteer, contact Prigoff at laura.prigoff@stbernardproject.org. Media interested in covering this story should contact James Shields in the Office of Public Affairs at 504-952-1287.

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LoyNews is an e-newswire produced by the Loyola University New Orleans Office of Public Affairs. LoyNews is distributed weekly to local, regional and national news media outlets, communicating the latest news and accomplishments of the university and its community.