Back to the Crescent City

“You get so much more than you give,” says an Alumni for Others veteran whose projects have included five trips to help rebuild New Orleans.

During a trip to New Orleans to help rebuild neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Cathy Horan-Walker ’69 noticed the SCU students working alongside her regarding her with surprise.

She says students don’t realize they can continue to do service work through SCU after graduation.

“They’re like, ‘I can still do this?’ Oh, yeah, Santa Clara is just the beginning. This is lifetime work.”

It’s been that way for Horan-Walker, a regent and former president of the Alumni Association, and for many others who join in the association’s Alumni for Others programs. Among other projects, local and distant, the financial advisor for Wells Fargo in Monterey has made five trips to New Orleans since 2005.

“The first time we went, the whole place was dark, absolutely dark, with trash piled in the middle of the street and not even a flushing toilet anywhere. We had to walk to a café to get some food. We just felt so fortunate of everything we had.”

She says she’s met people on the projects who have become part of her life. She’s also acquired practical skills: floor installation, drywall “mudding,” calking, sanding. She helped build a jungle gym and returned a year later to find it not only still standing (she had her doubts) but grateful families using it.

“You get so much more than you give,” she says.

To get involved, fill out the Volunteer Interest Form at the alumni office’s website.

post-image Photography by Adobe Stock
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