Hi all!

Let me start by saying I couldn’t be more ecstatic about our upcoming journey to New Orleans!! With just a little over a week to go, I am itching to say “so long Toronto, so long exams and get ready New Orleans because here we come!” I’ll tell you what I’m dreading most about my preparation for the trip though: Packing! I hate packing, especially since we were all advised to of course pack as light as possible. I never know what to eliminate, but promise to do my best. Aside from the packing, I am super ready to break a sweat in New Orleans from the scorching heat and from giving 150% to helping individuals and families in need.

I recently spent a day volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in Toronto where I had the opportunity to contribute to the construction of houses for low-income families. This certainly reinforced my excitement to help make a difference  and do the same in New Orleans. Too many families are still facing daily reminders of the devastation that Hurricane Katrina introduced. Too many people continue to remain homeless in one of the world’s most richest and powerful countries years after Hurricane Katrina touched down. This is unacceptable! It truly breaks my heart to know how many people suffer from injustices both in my own backyard and across the globe. The global cry for help is loud and cannot afford to be ignored. Together I know we can inspire change, even if it is on a small scale.  I believe that our combined efforts in New Orleans will prove to be a powerful force.

I would also like to take this time to express how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with what I know is an amazing group of individuals who have so much to offer. I anticipate the chance to get to know everyone and build new friendships and ties. I especially would like to thank Pascal Murphy and Tanya Gulliver for all their hard work that continues to go into organizing the NOLA trip and for providing us with what will be a unique experience. Their passion for social justice is simply inspiring! Also, thank you to each and every one of us who contributed to the fundraising efforts! We did a stellar job and surpassed our goal! WE ARE AWESOME! 🙂

Can’t wait to see “y’all” soon! And good luck to everyone on exams (yuck)!

Nikita Sander