Habitat For Humanity
By: Richard Brewer-Hay
Being originally from England, I’ve noticed that there is a tendency for “us Brits”* to take a cynical approach toward the warm, have-a-nice-day attitude of the stereotypical American in every day life. But for me, it is that optimistic, can-do approach to life that helped me fall in love with this country to begin with. It’s why I’ve made it my home for the past 17 years (not to mention it gave me my amazing wife and subsequently my beautiful daughter). I’ve never felt that warmth and positive vibe as much as I have during my visits to this part of the country. This is my third visit to New Orleans but my first since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina back in 2005.
I’ve been in town for 24 hours now and, on the one hand, I am amazed to see how great the downtown area is looking. Businesses have picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and are back welcoming tourists, music and food lovers to its fantastic culture. On the other though, coming from the airport, it was clear to see that this city is nowhere near back to where it needs to be even though it has been 2.5 years since the storm knocked this town to its knees. Despite all of this though, the people still are incredibly welcoming, as if they’re meeting an old friend or family member. It’s exactly why I fell in love with this part of the world to begin with and I’m definitely going to make a point to come back sooner rather than later.
There was a video playing in the ballroom this morning that talked about the money and time eBay users and employees had given in the aftermath of Katrina. eBay alone had given a million dollars to the Red Cross and an additional one million dollars directly to sellers living in the effected areas. Additionally, Lorrie presented a check for $50,000 this morning for the Habitat for Humanity organization.
I think it’s great that the organizers of the eCommerce Summit have devoted a day to Habitat for Humanity this coming Friday and I am looking forward to being a part of it and reporting back here on what is accomplished. According to Brandon Dupsky of the ECMTA, participation has been overwhelming so they’ve had to add another program on Friday to accommodate all of the participating attendees from the Summit.
Okay… back to the conference. Chat soon.
*I should point out that although born and raised (mostly) in England, I did apply for and obtain my US Citizenship in 2002 so I guess the “us Brits” phrase doesn’t really apply to me anymore.