Noah (r) and a new friend (and Nathan Rubinger)
Three years ago, I participated on AWB in Los Angeles as a teen participant. Now, as a staff member, I am finally doing AWB in New Orleans. NoLa always seemed like the AWB to do, so finally having the chance to experience it for myself, I can see why. Many people, myself included, struggle with the concept of going elsewhere to do community service, especially when traveling costs money, and there are always community service opportunities locally. Yet New Orleans feels like a city where it is worth it to travel for the cause. Yesterday, we drove to Baton Rouge to work with the organization Rebuilding Together, which rebuilds homes that were destroyed in the floods this past summer. Working with so many people who are victims of natural disasters, and helping them eventually move back into their homes is thankfully not something so readily available to many people locally, so to be able to do this kind of work is especially meaningful. It is very important not to neglect ones own community, but when given a chance to to help part of an entire city that has been in a recovery process for over 10 years, that is an opportunity that one souls not pass up.
~ Noah Stein is a Sophomore at Columbia University and a veteran staff member at Tel Yehudah