Hurricane Katrina Volunteer still helping as 7th anniversary of the disaster approaches

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Iray Nabatoff, Founder and Executive Director of the Community Center of St Bernard in Arabi, Louisiana, has been working as a fulltime volunteer in the Katrina recovery effort since 2006. Under his …

Iray Nabatoff, Founder and Executive Director of the Community Center of St Bernard in Arabi, Louisiana, has been working as a fulltime volunteer in the Katrina recovery effort since 2006. Under his direction the Center has assisted more than 15,000 hurricane survivors and continues to serve more than 4,300 individuals every year.

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  • 1. Hurricane Katrina Volunteer stillhelping as 7th anniversary of the disaster approaches http://www.ccstb.org
  • 2. Summary: Iray Nabatoff, Founder and ExecutiveDirector of the Community Center of St Bernard in Arabi, Louisiana, has been working as a fulltimevolunteer in the Katrina recovery effort since 2006. Under his direction the Center has assisted more than 15,000 hurricane survivors and continues to serve more than 4,300 individuals every year. http://www.ccstb.org
  • 3. Quote: "Our goal is to make essential services available here in St Bernard Parish so that recovering families can readily access thehelp they need to rebuild their lives and their communities." Iray Nabatoff, Executive Director, Community Center of St Bernard http://www.ccstb.org
  • 4. (August 21, 2012) Iray Nabatoff’s life changed dramatically in January 2006. When he heard about the horrificdestruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, Iray left his home in Acworth, NH and went to Louisiana to volunteer. Iray’s original intention was to stay for a few weeks, helping to serve 1300 meals each day to local residents and relief workers. http://www.ccstb.org
  • 5. But as he talked with people who had lost everything -- from clothes to cars to pets to homes, and even familymembers -- Iray’s plans for a short stay turned into a long- term commitment. He flew back to New Hampshire to tieup his former life, then returned to St Bernard Parish, LA in February 2006. Living first in a tent, and later in a FEMA trailer (a place he still calls home) Iray brought together returning residents to found the nonprofit Community Center of St Bernard. http://www.ccstb.org
  • 6. After extensive renovation of a Katrina-damaged building,the Center opened its doors in January 2007 with Iray as the unpaid fulltime volunteer Executive Director, a position he still holds. When Iray helped to found the Community Center, he intended to provide a “one-stop shop” where St Bernard residents could receive free, local access to essential recovery resources from across the greater New Orleans area. http://www.ccstb.org
  • 7. 6 years have now passed since the Community Center wasfounded, and under Iray’s guidance it has grown into one ofthe premier recovery resource providers in the greater New Orleans area. When the Gulf Oil Spill threatened thelivelihoods of coastal St Bernard residents during 2010, the Center was there to help immediately with food, clothes, information, referrals, and emotional support. In just the past year: http://www.ccstb.org
  • 8. The Center’s Food Pantry has given out 263,634 lbs of food to 4,351 unduplicated low-income individuals.Office staff have passed out 9,816 flyers, brochures and pamphlets to help families find the help they need. Theyve also made 4,778 referrals. 159 people have signed up for the Community Center’s free computer classes The Clothing Bank has been accessed 11,224 times. 1,850 people have received assistance in applying for the federal Food Stamps program 141 senior citizens have received information about the federal SCSEP training program for low-income seniors. 5,408 free books have been given out in the Center’s reading area. And the Center’s media lab (internet computers, public phones, fax & copying services) has been used 3,889 times http://www.ccstb.org
  • 9. Iray’s success in turning the Community Center of St Bernardfrom a simple vision into a real bricks-and-mortar facility where thousands of families come for practical assistance with the problems they face is a shining example of the difference that one individual can make in the lives of those around him. http://www.ccstb.org
  • 10. For more information about the Community Center of St Bernard and itsongoing efforts to assist hurricane Katrina survivors, please visit www.ccstb.org http://www.ccstb.org