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Briarcliff's Project Relief Team Cleans Up Beads

"Project Relief, a group of about 40 people from churches in Briarcliff, Scarborough and Peekskill are sending daily dispatches from their week volunteering in New Orleans. See all the Project Relief stories . "

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. - Westchester's Project Relief team, which was formed in part by Briarcliff locals, worked all over the New Orleans area Wednesday and Thursday, continuing to rebuild New Orleans centers devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Project Relief chaperone Amy Ludwig, from Briarcliff Manor, wrote about the group’s progress Thursday at Arc of Greater New Orleans, a United Way agency that provides services to individuals with intellectual disabilities:

"Today we sorted beads by sizes, color and uniqueness. They are trying to prevent all of the waste from all of the Mardi Gras beads. They have a float that says 'Catch and Release' that encourages people to throw their beads back on a special Mardi Gras float to be reused. Another division of ARC is the Vintage Garden and Company. They have a wonderful herb and vegetable garden and a cafe where they sell soups with the freshest ingredients. They provide opportunities to train people to provide gardening and landscaping services."

Ludwig also sent an update about the group's Wednesday work at Rescue Ranch:

"At the ranch today we mucked out dozens of horse stalls, groomed horses, dug drainage ditches (including backbreaking work chopping out tree roots that were in the path of the ditch), collected fresh eggs from her chicken coop and did several carpentry projects like building a rack on which to dry boots, and sealing several windows at horse stalls the were to switch uses and become tack storage rooms."

Project Relief began five years ago when local Briarcliff youths told adults from Briarcliff Congregational Church, Scarborough Presbyterian Church and Peekskill Presbyterian Church that they wanted to volunteer their time to help repair the City of New Orleans after the 2005 hurricane.

Project Relief Director Peter Clements, from Ossining, said earlier that 26 students and adult members raised about $42,000 to make the trip to spend their entire winter break from school volunteering with local New Orleans organizations to rebuild houses. Project Relief members come from all over the Westchester area including Ossining, Briarcliff Manor, Millwood, Yorktown, Peekskill and Scarborough.

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