The other day I heard about a little-known charitable organization that’s been helping Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans rebuild their homes. The Saint Bernard Project uses volunteer labor and donated money to rebuild homes damaged or destroyed in August of 2005 by the hurricane.
This kind of private charity is still necessary, nearly seven years after the storm, because the hundred billion dollars the federal government spent on Katrina relief was mostly wasted or stolen, and some ten thousand New Orleans families still haven’t been able to rebuild their shattered homes.
The group certainly sounds like a worthy cause. According to their website, they have already rebuilt 425 homes already, and are currently working on forty more. All labor is done by volunteers, and the cost of materials for a typical re-build is only $20,000.
Quite a contrast to government-run help efforts, which at this point have run their course without doing much good for the people who needed help. The government programs were boondoggles like the twenty million dollar debit card program. We now know that the Katrina debit cards were mostly wasted. Other federal relief was sent to felons in prisons. Over a billion was apparently spent on things like massage parlor visits and porno videos, according to a federal report. Over two billion dollars of federal money was spent on unusable trailers. After spending the money, the government forbid anyone to use the trailers.
Once again President Reagan’s quip about the words “We’re from the government and we’re here to help” are proven true.