Day 2: Meeting the family!
Today was our first day of work in New Orleans. We got up at 7 am, got some breakfast and got straight to work. Once we got to the house, the organizers told us that we were repairing a house that belonged to a Korean War veteran who lost both of his legs. This added another layer to the service work we were doing, because being from the DC area most of my friends come from military families. However, I rarely see any of their parents affected by their military service. Seeing how much people in the military really sacrifice was a great reminder to me that we should do what we can to help the people who keep us safe. At the end of the day I had the honor to meet Leon, the homeowner, and we talked about how he stayed in Virginia post Hurricane Katrina. I was happy to hear that him and his wife loved Virginia. They talked about how beautiful the state is and reminded me how lucky I am to be a Hokie! When we got back to the hostel we were treated to a talk from Renee who serves as the Director of Education and Outreach of The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center www.gnofaithousing.org. She explained the history of housing discrimination in New Orleans and the United States. Being a data analytics major I was taken away from the staggering statistics that clearly show intentional and systematic discrimination. It was shocking to hear how big a role the government played in housing discrimination. - Ieaun Israel