Posted December 14, 2009
In the spring of 2008, Teresa Arey traveled to Phoenix, Louisiana, with a group of Bowdoin students to volunteer with the local organization Rebuilding Phoenix through the Alternative Spring Break program.
Rebuilding Phoenix helps build affordable houses for citizens who lost their homes during hurricanes Katrina and Rita in a rural town of 300 people. Teresa and her group members saw how flooding from Rita and Katrina greatly affected the small community, and the residents were greatly appreciative of the small tasks the group performed to contribute to the larger rebuilding process. By speaking with local residents, the group learned about the importance of home ownership in peoples’ lives. Teresa noticed that three years after Hurricane Katrina, the area still needs much assistance—some citizens remained in FEMA trailers.
Teresa hopes to travel back to the Gulf region to experience local culture and continue to help rebuilding from the storms.
“Helping to rebuild the Gulf really puts into perspective how easily one's life can be turned upside down by events out of our hands, and the simple things we can do to bring joy to someone in the wake of a tragedy.”
— Teresa Arey '11