NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Gaithersburg, MD, United States, 2006/08/28 - Vacation Travel Television (VTTV) enters the travel and broadcast arena with a unique opportunity for volunteers to work directly within communities still reeling from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina.
“Alternative Vacations offer opportunity for citizens to be humanitarians”
“Our staff decided to launch VTTV in conjunction with offering this exceptional opportunity for average citizens to take part in an alternative vacation,” announced Neal Dembo, President of VTTV. “We believe there is a huge, untapped source of people who want to contribute to this rebuilding effort, but do not know where to turn. VTTV will allow everyone to benefit because we’re offering an efficient and organized program.”
Communities are in the progress of rebuilding from the ground up. It is estimated that in one Mississippi parish alone, pre-Katrina home building averaged 2,500 new homes per year. The hurricane changed those estimates, and now 60,000 homes must be built just to accommodate evacuated residents. At this moment the media is focused on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, but the survivors are justifiably more concerned with keeping the focus on the fundamental needs of their communities, schools, religious organizations, and their future. VTTV’s “Project Katrina Volunteers” will echo that focus as we let everyday Americans share their skills in a great way to spend their next vacation.
Americans have been reaching out with their checkbooks and have participated in efforts to help those who lost their homes and all of their possessions. Though most people and organizations have the best of intentions, the sheer magnitude of the devastation is still widely felt throughout the Gulf region. Peer-to-peer faith-based groups have made the deepest impact in the region. Those not affiliated with a faith-based group have not had much success getting a hands-on opportunity to contribute. Their efforts to volunteer their time and services have been disappointing, and some feel exploited. The government estimates that over 500,000 people traveled in the last year to the Gulf region to volunteer. The media coverage is likely to inspire average citizens to forgo their vacation for something more meaningful.
This is where VTTV, a source for proven and hassle-free travel experiences, comes into the picture. We will provide volunteer opportunities with non-profit organizations for volunteers who want to travel to the New Orleans or other affected cities. We will work with well-respected organizations and official representatives of the Katrina relief efforts to offer opportunities for individuals. VTTV will take care of all the logistics so that volunteers can focus on helping their fellow citizens. Our packages will include everything from transportation to lodging to choices of rebuilding projects. Examples include home gutting, assisting with animal rescue/feeding operations, wetland and Gulf Coast restoration, rebuilding the fishing industry, and providing social service assistance to victims.
In an effort to share these experiences with a larger audience, VTTV (vttv.tv) will present video stories of these experiences to our television audience. VTTV is encouraging volunteers to record these stories and share them with everyone. The VTTV package also includes video cameras so that participants can record their visit. These segments will become part of our ongoing travel television programming.