The New Waveland Café in Waveland MS, initiated by a group of Rainbows, was the first recognized relief kitchen in Hancock county after Hurricane Katrina. The Kitchen has become a community center for locals and volunteers in Waveland and the surrounding areas. People are drawn to this kitchen because the food is healthy, much of it is organic, and it is always cooked with style. The kitchen is run completely by volunteers who focus on empowering this community to continue helping one another even after the kitchen is gone. Anyone who expresses interest is welcome to facilitate a meal. When people stroll up in the pre-coffee dawn of 5:30 a.m. looking groggy, they are pointed in the direction of the coffee pot and invited to get the ball rolling. Local children have meandered by asking questions about the kitchen. Now we have 9 and 10 year-olds chopping vegetables for dinner, and spooning out soup in the serving line. Most nights during the week different local bands come to play on the stage at dinner time. Often, when dinner is finished, tables are pushed back and a spontaneous community dance party ensues. Afterwards, locals and volunteers work together to clean the dining room.
The New Waveland Café is closing down on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It is re-opening at a new location in St. Bernard's Parrish, just outside of New Orleans. The folks who are continuing on with this mission are in need of a larger volunteer force and many resources in order to carry out this project. Many of the people moving to St. Bernard's Parrish have been working for 1 to 2 months, seven days a week, with very few breaks. This move is going to take a lot of work, and some brand-spanking new creative vibrance will be enthusiastically welcome.
Please keep in mind that no amount of carrying signs, marching, meditation, prayer, signing petitions, or voting will ever carry as much power as helping one person gut out her ruined house, or feeding a single mother at the end of another stressful day of red-taping it to a Fema trailor. This is a chance to extract yourself from our traditionally divided and materialistic American culture, shake off the stagnant mundane, and participate in true community building during a time of suffering and hardship.
If you would like to participate you will find info on volunteering at:
www.emergencycommunities.org or email email@example.com