Hey Everyone,

Doesn’t it feel like it was only days ago that we were meeting up for our first fundraising class in December 2010? As many of us have already expressed, it’s hard to believe that we’ll be departing for New Orleans NEXT WEEK (well those of us in the first section). Like most of the group, I am very excited about the work that we’ll be doing for our two weeks in New Orleans. I’m also very excited to experience AUTHENTIC Cajun food, instead of just the imitation stuff they serve at Popeye’s.  I am also very excited to meet all of the other students I’ll be sharing this experience with. Judging by the classes we shared together, I am embarking on this journey with an amazing group of individuals, and I am confident that solid friendships will develop and grow as a result of this trip. I also managed to make a few friends in section 2 through classes and fundraising events, so it’s a little sad that some of us won’t experience the trip together after bonding over the past 4 or 5 months.

I also wanted to take a moment to congratulate everyone on the large sum of money we were able to raise as a result of our collective efforts. Each and every one of us did a phenomenal job and I think we should all be very proud of ourselves. I know a few of the sponsors that we approached had some concerns about how we could possibly be assisting with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts nearly 6 years after the storm. I just wanted to reassure everyone viewing our blog that there is still a HUGE housing shortage in New Orleans that is a direct result from the 2005 storms. While a lot of time has passed and the media has largely forgotten about Hurricane Katrina, there are still thousands of people from New Orleans and the surrounding areas who live with daily reminders of that devastating time. Many people were never able to quite recover. Although we are only going for two short weeks (one month cumulative), we are making a significant difference in the lives of a few. It only takes a small effort from many people to create and sustain change.

With that said, I must depart. I think most of us are stuck in exam season (unfortunately), so studying is a top priority. I’m looking forward to meeting up with everyone soon! I’m also looking forward to soaking up the hot New Orleans sun!!! Not really sure what’s going with Toronto’s weather, but I’m anxious to trade in our unexpected snow falls for some heat.

Good luck on final exams and assignments!

❤  Gabrielle Wright