Volunteering to Make a Difference

Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the coast of Mississippi and Louisiana on the morning of August 29, 2005, and the aftermath was devastating.  More than seven years later, the destruction that resulted still lingers. As New Orleans residents continue to put their city back together, the mortgage servicing industry is lending a helping hand where they can. 

The National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) organized a volunteer opportunity for members of the industry who collaborated on rehabbing a home in New Orleans that was flooded by Hurricane Katrina.  The Safeguard volunteers included AVP of Inspections Jen Jozity, Director of P&P Regionals Tim Rath, Manager of REO Customer Service Sherrie Rivett, and Supervisor of Inspections Regional Coordinators Meghan Ziel.  They described this experience as “an eye opener.”  The homeowner has lived in her house for over 40 years; when Hurricane Katrina hit, she was evacuated for two months.  Many other homes in her neighborhood were affected as well, and several had the “X” markings that signified flooding took place in the area.  

While the Safeguard team’s eyes were being opened to the extensive damages still affecting people so many years after the fact, they also found the experience to be very rewarding.  The group of volunteers started off their day as strangers, but quickly developed camaraderie. This partnership assisted the group in reaching their common goal of helping this woman, who had weathered the storm, and making a difference in her life.

For Safeguard, the trip to New Orleans proved that everyone has the ability to make a difference.  The gratitude shown by the homeowner they helped is living proof.


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