Not Only for the Kids: Staff Reflection – Miriam Chesterman

Miriam (top) gets ready to paint the town with Sarah

Last spring, I had a chance to visit New Orleans for the first time, and I loved it. This time,  was my first opportunity to staff Alternative Winter Break through YJ, and I  jumped at the opportunity. Today was our last day of volunteering and we spent it with Green Light New Orleans. We spent the first half of the day helping families build small gardens in their front yard, and the second part of the day delivering and installing eco-friendly light bulbs in several people’s houses. This was our first major interaction with true “New Orleanians”, and it was a really amazing experience being able to hear how their lives were altered by Hurricane Katrina and how they live their lives now. This entire week has been an incredible learning experience, filled with meeting new people, getting to know the AWB participants, and bonding as a staff. I’m going to be extremely sad to see everyone go tomorrow, but I’m lucky to be able to know that we truly made a difference this week, throughout the entire city of New Orleans.

~ Miriam is a sophomore at the University of Michigan and is a staff member at Tel Yehudah.