Super Bowl crowds are heading home with their memories of the big game. Many New Orleans residents are especially thankful that they came.
The day before the Super Bowl, hundreds of volunteers fanned out around the city, pitching in alongside some New Orleans Saints players to help neighborhoods in need.
Doris and Edmund Bridgewater have been married for 47 years, living in their Tita Street home on the West Bank for the past 23. It’s one of 10 houses in their neighborhood where volunteers with Rebuilding Together worked on repairs. There was also a street party, with food and music. The Bridgewaters say they’ll always remember the help they received.
“This is such a great occasion for our neighborhood. You know, a neighborhood — you come into the neighborhood and it looks bad. You drive into the neighborhood now, it looks good. And we’re all like one big family. We’re getting along. Everybody’s talking to each other. You know, it’s just a beautiful thing."
“We’ll remember this every year. It’ll be like an anniversary to us.”
Across the river in the Lower Ninth Ward, almost 200 volunteers were on duty at the Make It Right project. Ronnie Williams watched crew paint the outside of his house on North Derbigny Street. He expects it will be ready in a few weeks — more than seven years after Hurricane Katrina floods destroyed his home.
“I think it’s wonderful that people came in for the Super Bowl and decided to volunteer some of their time to this effort. It feels good to come back down here and be able to see the progress that’s going on.”
Nonprofits through the city report volunteers have been critical to Katrina recovery, and continue signing up to help.