Common Ground Collective has called a National Caravan to arrive in New Orleans on November 20th and work over the week of Thanksgiving until November 27th.
Common Ground Collective is a community-run organization offering solidarity and mutual aid to the citizens of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Common Ground collective began days after Katrina hit, establishing a community center in Algiers that offers free water, food, cleaning supplies, internet access, house repairs, legal support, housing advocacy, and a free medical clinic. We also run a community radio station and a mobile free clinic. Efforts have begun to take shape in the 9th Ward of New Orleans. For a month now, Common Ground has been organizing and meeting folks in the neighborhood as they return. Common Ground has been placing information sheets on every door of the 9th Ward and working with residents who are committed to staying. A distribution center has been established, free medical and legal clinics have taken place, and crews have been picking up trash and helping clean homes.
What: Common Ground wants 300 volunteers from all around the country to converge in New Orleans with donated funds and building & cleaning supplies. Volunteers will work in the 9th Ward on tasks ranging form debris removal to simply listening to residents affected by the Hurricanes.
Why: The poor neighborhoods of the city don’t have electricity and are not being cleaned up or repaired, while the French Quarter and other predominantly white areas are relatively clean and quite functional. This seems to be a purposeful effort to keep poor and black residents from feeling any hope of being able to rebuild their lives in New Orleans. We see that there was great inequality before the storm in the 9th ward. We believe this inequality continued during the storm, and we see that this inequality is continuing now, after the storm. Though the 9th ward has been abandoned by the city, there are many people from all over the country joining with residents to clean and rebuild the community and keep it in the hands of those who live there. The work of the caravan will be a demonstration of what is possible. It is our belief that the ninth ward community will have more of a chance of surviving if the residents return home, organize, help each other, and know that aid and relief are available for the long-run.
Who: You. Your organization. Self-sustained groups that can organize themselves. We also need volunteers with specific skills: electricians, mechanics, plumbers, mold abaters, roofers, construction workers, carpenters, tree workers, lawyers, cooks –and people who can train other volunteers and residents in these skills.
When: We’re asking folks to arrive in New Orleans on November 20th and work through the Thanksgiving week until Novmeber 27th. Of course, volunteers are needed continuously and can arrive anytime.
How you can help: Get on the bus. Donate a bus. Organize a bus. Donate $$$$. Donate supplies (see website for more details). Help raise funds, plan a fundraiser, ask your network to donate. Help spread the word.
To get plugged-in: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com http://www.commongroundrelief.org
A much needed Supplies list. (please donate supplies in good condition and ready to use)
Tarps (for roofing, 30’x 20/50’)
Electrical supplies for rewiring houses (wire, outlets, breakers, etc.)
12 Amp, 100 foot extension cords
Good quality tools
Tents (12’x 20/30’), Domes
Ready to run computers
Liquid vacs (wet/dry vacs)
N95 face masks
Hammers and nails
Drills and thick screws
When we have a donation drop-off site, We will let you know. To send supplies or donations directly to Common Ground, please mail to:
Common Ground Relief Center
9th ward project
331 Atlantic Ave
New Orleans, LA 70114
Monetary donations. Please write and send tax-deductible checks to C.G.’s fiscal sponser
Community Futures/ Common Ground Relief (please note “9th Ward” in memo)
221 Idora Ave.
Vallejo, CA 94591
More about Common Ground Collective: www.commongroundrelief.org