This page is designed for accessibility. Content is obtainable and functional to any browser or Internet device. This page's full visual experience is available in a graphical browser that supports web standards. Please consider upgrading your web browser.

 New Orleans Journal

Habitat for Humanity Trip - Monday, January 8

New Orleans Trip - Jan 14-Thank You - Jan 13 - Jan 12 - Jan 11
Jan 10 - Jan 9 - Jan 8 - Jan 7 - Before the Trip - Photo Slide Show


On our first day on the job site at Habitat for Humanity New Orleans was incredible. It was a beautiful clear day and we all got a lot done. We saw the 31 homes already built in Musicians’ Village and met the team leaders. They want to build 250 more homes this year so get ready and bring a group down yourself.

The UMD group split up onto several job sites. Some of us did landscaping, some built foundations for two new buildings, some shoveled sand, some painted, some roofed, some did exterior work. Some also went through punch lists to complete interior construction.

Jan8 Jan8 Jan8 jan8
Dirt Mountain. We moved three of these in a few hours. Gilbert Engelbert Jamie Essen (left) Matt Slinger, Jon Meiners and Karen Davidshofer
Jan8 Jan8 Jan8 Jan8
Aaron Lassila, Gil Englebert, Cheryl Reitan, and David Wermerskirchen Jon Meiners, laying block Katie Elton Craig Peterson (right)


A number of people got to meet homeowners. We heard comments like, “When I saw the look of joy on the face of the  homeowner, Michael Harris, I felt like Santa Claus” and “The two residents we met were very thankful and made the experience even better”

Lori Stroik got to meet two homeowners. “They were both very appreciative and interesting,” she said.  “Ellen Smith, a singer, was excited to share her story and she invited us to see her perform tonight with Harry Connick, Jr and the Marsallis Brothers.” At our next posting we’ll try and have pictures of the performance. Note: They did perform but not until midnight and we had to be back at Camp Hope by then.

jan8 jan8 jan8  jan8
Katie Elton, Shana Secory and Vanessa Hurst Lindsay Siolka, Leah Mirzamohammadi, and Shana Secory Stephanie Schliesman Niki Granger
jan8 jan8 jan8 jan8
Nikki Thomalla Paul McGie Paul Williams Vanessa Hurst

Here’s a few more comments about our first day:

Today, I learned that every little thing we do helps.  I started out... sorting through a truck full of tools, every nail and screw imaginable, and the many odd and ends that help put a house together.  It took a while to organize everything and
put it away - but in the end it helped everyone else get everything they needed.   Heather Ronning

Not only did I begin to work on a new house for a family, but I am helping to rebuild a whole community. Paul Williams

It was really cool to help landscape people's homes and to meet one of the owners. Courtney Wright

Our first day on site I landscaped for a few hours. The best part of it was meeting other college students and talking about our cultural differences. Leah Mirzamohammadi

I am relieved that we can have such an impact on the construction projects. Niki Granger

Today we built up blocks to hold up a house.  We also put hurricane supports to help save the house in case another hurricane hits. Jessica Lewis

jan8  jan8  jan8 jan8 Jan8
The site of two new homes

Stephanie Schliesman

The mud team: Nikki, Craig, Paul and Jess

Nikki Thomalla using the rebar grinder

Jon Meiners and Matt Slinger

Some of our shy participants didn’t want us to use their names. Here are their comments:

We helped build houses which rebuilds lives.

We all worked hard and at the end of the day the results were easily seen. It's an amazing feeling of true accomplishment.

I started prepping for siding, then did a few random jobs, and then did a lot roofing. I wanted to keep going.

UMD home page editor, Cheryl Reitan,
NEW RELEASES, UMD media contact, Susan Latto,, 218-726-8830


Did you find what you were looking for? YES NO