Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: City of New Orleans Office of the Mayor

This past weekend marked the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. I couldn’t possibly begin to expound upon the meaning and significance of this day for the people of New Orleans.

I was honored, however, to help recruit and manage volunteers for the Mayor’s Commemoration Program. Although a last-minute rain storm forced us to move the event from Jackson Square to indoors at Mahalia Jackson Theater (and left me scrambling to contact all of our volunteers at the 11th hour), everything – the music, stories, speeches – was wonderful. I was extremely proud of the volunteers for braving the rain and being flexible with the last minute changes to the program. Volunteers ended up helping pass out memorabilia and guest credentials and escorting constituents to their seats.

Photo by: Matthew Hinton, The Times-Picayune

Recruiting volunteers for the event has another off-shoot: as I scrambled to find enough volunteers, I was able to meet more people in the community and expand my future volunteer resource pools. For example, Tulane Law students played a big part in making sure everything went off without a hitch, and I’m hopeful that they will continue to volunteer in the future.

The next month will be spent finalizing student internship placements for the semester and preparing a budget for VIGOR to submit to the Mayor and later the City Council. I also have old college friends coming into town very soon, and I am heading out to Colorado for a quick weekend away. September promises to be a good month! -Nick Solari, AmeriCorps VISTA

To learn more about the Volunteers in Government of Responsibility (VIGOR) program at City Hall, visit their program page at: http://www.cityofno.com/pg-128-3.aspx. 

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About Tulane VISTA

Notes from the field from the AmeriCorps VISTA team at Tulane University.

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