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Oswego Realtor Gives Back in the Big Easy!

Atttending NARdiGra was an amazing experience.  New Orleans has been a favorite city of mine despite some unfortunate experiences tied in to my visits in the past. 

On my first trip I was only able to stay a day and half since I received a call that my father had passed away and I had to return back for the funeral.  I was able to enjoy a wonderful breakfast at Antoines and headed back home.  The hotel was lovely in the French Quarter and I vowed to return.

My 2nd trip was a gift  for my 40th birthday from my close friends and unfortunately, I had a bad case of strep throat.  I went to some marvelous restaurants, Commander's Palace, Brennan's, and others I can't recall.  I was unable to enjoy the food completely and was unable to stay up for the great music that the rest of the group went to but I toured the Garden District, French Quarter and enjoyed myself despite not feeling up to par.  I vowed to return.

My 3rd trip was in 2006 when NAR was the 1st major convention to come back after Katrina.  I volunteered that year and met some wonderful people with amazing spirit.  My fellow Realtors gave of their time and physical ability and were glad to do it.

Realtor VolunteersInstructions at SiteNJVolunteer


This, my 4th trip, also allowed me to give back and I did a volunteer day on Frenchman street with a great group of volunteers.  It was hard to believe that 5 years have gone by.  Although much has been done, there is so much to still be done.   So many homes have not even been touched since Katrina and that really made me angry and sad.Katrina HouseSite HouseVolunteer Painting


How can we as American's, have allowed this!  We give to other countries and yet allow a city so full of history in our own country to be in this condition for so long.  I know politics have played a big part in the effort to get New Orleans back but we should remember and continue to give our time and financial assistance. 

I know that there are many more restaurants now then before Katrina.  They have a wonderful football team that has helped bring the spirit back to New Orleans even stronger.   The French Quarter is doing great, as I saw with tourists from all parts of the world, like the Australian that is staying in my hotel that was on a flight for 38 hours! 

But there is more to New Orleans than the French Quarter and the Saints.  American's have to continue volunteering like us Realtors, the National Jewish Federation, Americorps, and Habitat for Humanity.  Many other organizations have given time, money and labor to do some good besides the ones mentioned here.  Celebrities such as Brad & Angelina (Make it Right)Jolie Brad Pitt House, Harry Connick, Branford Marsailis & Habitat for Humanity - those involved in the Musicians Village, are the ones that we hear the most about but there are others that are doing great work such as Friends of New Orleans which is perfect for those that can't come down to New Orleans and give a day of labor but can give monetary support.

NAR puts on a great show and provides terrific classes and the vendors were plentiful this year.  I enjoyed both the classes I went to, the vendors and the celebrity concert (Earth,Wind & Fire).  But I am glad that I was able to give some of my personal time back to those that really need our help - homeowners of New Orleans who pre-Katrina had over 80% ownership in the 9th Ward and where empty lots overgrown with weeds are still here 5 years later.Empty Lot

Whether you volunteer in New Orleans or in your home town, giving back to the community that supports you is the best feeling that money can't buy.  Every little bit helps becaused the combined efforts of so many volunteers will eventually bring the Big Easy to its world class reputation, better than before Katrina and its history will continue to bring people from all over the country and the world to enjoy "Laisses Les Bon Temps Roulez or Let the Good Times Roll" again but even better than before.

If you are planning a trip to the Big Easy here is a great website to visit:

**Sorry pictures despite being saved with correct rotation reverted back. 

Evelyn Santiago

Dynamic Real Estate Network, Inc.

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