More than 500,000 people have traveled to the Gulf Coast to help victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and tens of millions more have contributed in other ways, a national volunteer group says.
But more support will be needed for ongoing relief and rebuilding efforts, says the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Those on the ground in Louisiana and Mississippi provided food and shelter for evacuees, removed debris and gutted damaged homes, while people throughout the U.S. raised money, donated supplies and adopted homeless families.
The American Red Cross alone sent 220,000 volunteers to the region.
More than 33,800 Senior Corps volunteers, AmeriCorps members and Learn and Serve America students contributed a total of 1.5 million hours and helped organize 75,600 community volunteers, the corporation says.
Catholic Charities’ Second Harvest Food Bank distributed 40 million pounds of food and Salvation Army volunteers served 6.6 million hot meals.
Traveler’s Aid volunteers helped almost 19,000 displaced families and more than 10,000 college students spend their spring breaks in the region.
And the Corporation says it and AmeriCorps deployed 1,000 members to the Gulf Coast for part of their service terms.