Grassroots Group Plans Thanksgiving Relief Effort in New Orleans

Jessica Azulay
Date Published: 
September 27, 2005

Poor New Orleanians who continue to rely mostly on themselves and on grassroots-level support will get a big helping hand from activists across the United States later this month.

Nov. 10, 2005 – In an effort to help the struggling residents of New Orleans’s Ninth Ward and to pressure authorities to reestablish services in that devastated area, a grassroots relief group is organizing hundreds of volunteers from across the country to converge on the Crescent City over Thanksgiving week. Organizers of the initiative, which is called the Roadtrip for Relief, say they hope the influx of people ready to help will offer hope to the Ninth Ward and other neglected communities in the region.

Kerul Dyer, road-trip coordinator with the New Orleans-based organization Common Ground Collective, said participants will work one block at a time to clean up debris and help residents return to their community. Common Ground also plans to set up a community center in the neighborhood, test soil and water and help people set up generators and other sources of power.

"The Ninth Ward has a history of neglect," Dyer told The NewStandard. "The city, state and federal governments have ignored the situation there. The power is not on there. And there is great need."

The group also plans to send some roadtrip volunteers to the Houm