The 8th Annual Kaiser Permanente
Gulf Coast Restoration Week

HandsOn New Orleans, a program of United Way, is hosting Kaiser Permanente’s 8th Annual Gulf Coast Restoration Week beginning Monday the 14th of April, 2014. Fifty employees and physicians will spend the week volunteering at five sites around the city.

Below are descriptions of the sites that will be visited by Kaiser: 

PlayBuild Nola

PlayBuild’s big idea: blight eradication through design education. The organization targets lots in close proximity to elementary schools to transform them into architectural playgrounds. PlayBuild NOLA uses unique equipment to create a safe, fun, accessible outdoor classroom for underserved youth. The goal is to stimulate curiosity, enthusiasm, and an interest in exploring careers across a wide spectrum of design disciplines.

Their mission is to transform under-utilized urban spaces into exciting kid-friendly environments for play and learning.

Volunteer Impact:
Volunteers will create a safe space, expand operating hours, and ultimately create a family-friendly recreation location.
• Construct and erect cattle fence.
• Build chalkboard top picnic tables
• Enhance landscaping
• Create New Orleans Architectural elements

Treme Community Garden


The Treme Community Garden was once a hub of community engagement and a center of agriculture from 1988-2010 and under the leadership of the Sankore’ Trades & Arts, a program of the New Orleans Women Artist Collective (NOWAC), the garden is being restored as a center of healing, teaching, and community engagement for residents, organizations, and youth.

Volunteer Impact:
Volunteers will launch the teaching area and provide much-needed infrastructure and momentum for Sankore to realize its vision of a reconnected and intentional community hub.
• Construct a shade structure
• Build park bench seating
• Build new seed starter work tables
• Expand on-site storage shed
• Install a utility sink

New Orleans African-American Museum



Established in 2000, the NOAAM property encompasses seven historical structures located on the site of a former plantation in the Faubourg Treme, one of the oldest and certainly largest pre-Civil war communities of free people of color. Having undergone substantial roof and water damage during Katrina in 2005, the museum was restored and reopened in February 2008.

Volunteer Impact:
Volunteers will refurbish existing outdoor spaces to create programming areas that can be used to host capital campaign functions.
• Repair and repaint a gazebo
• Repair and repaint fencing
• Remediate overgrown landscaping
• Repair broken doors and shutters
• Repair porch and ADA access ramp

Drop-In Center

To improve the health and quality of life of homeless youths, between the ages of 14 to 23 years, by providing for and broadening the comprehensive network of primary healthcare and substance abuse, mental health, case management and outreach services.

Volunteer Impact:
Volunteers will organize, clean, and streamline the facility allowing the small staff to make the most efficient use of their time and space while also allowing clients to help themselves as much as possible.
• Deep cleaning
• Install lockers
• Sort and categorize storage areas and pantries

Einstein Charter School

Einstein Charter School took over a failing elementary school in 2006. Since then, Einstein has made continuous, uninterrupted gains in student achievement, has raised the school’s grade to a B, and has received its second consecutive "Top Gains School" designation from the Louisiana Department of Education after surpassing the state's annual school growth expectations (2012 & 2013). In 2013, Einstein Charter School took over its second failing elementary school serving a similar student body, more than doubling the schools’ high needs population. The Einstein mission is to promote academic excellence in teaching and learning through the integration of mathematics and science in interdisciplinary curricula and to promote the ideals and habits of lifelong learning among students.

Volunteer Impact:
In the words of Shawn Toranto, “these children deserve to come to school in a beautiful, welcoming space. Right now, it looks like a prison barracks.” Volunteers will beautify and enhance the school’s exterior spaces.
• Renovate main welcome trailer
• Create a rain garden
• Create an edible school yard
• Build and install an outdoor teaching kitchen
• Repair an outdoor stage for use once again and add a shade structure
• Bring existing Kaboom playground up to code for student use