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NCC presents an NBC special on August 29;
'Coming home' five years after Katrina struck

New Orleans, August 19, 2010 -- For many Americans, August 29 marks an anniversary that has scarred both bodies and souls.

That was the day, five years ago, when Hurricane Katrina made a direct assault on New Orleans, Mississippi and the American gulf coast. The worst natural disaster in U.S. history left thousands of families homeless and displaced.

Five years later, many of those families are still struggling to return home.

Coming Home: Hurricane Katrina 5 Years Later, is their story. The documentary -- alternately heart wrenching and deeply inspiring -- is presented by the National Council of Churches and produced by the Presbyterian Church (USA), on many NBC stations beginning August 29.  (If your local station isn't carrying this important show, call the station management and tell them how much you'd like to see it.)

"You have to remember one thing when you drive through my city," says Wanda, "behind every broken window...behind every boarded up empty house...There is a family trying to come home.”

Wanda was one of the thousands of families left homeless or displaced following Hurricane Katrina. Five years later, some of these families are still trying to return home. The most destructive hurricane in
U.S. history inspired a movement that brought thousands of volunteers from all over the world —taking leave from their jobs, their families— to work alongside families and communities desperately trying to return home.

Thousands of persons of faith have been deeply involved in the recovery of the gulf since the hurricane hit five years ago. Each August since then, National Council of Churches volunteers from many communions have participated in an Ecumenical Work Week to help in the rebuilding.

The new documentary, "Coming Home: Hurricane Katrina 5 Years Later," gives insight into the relationships between volunteers and hurricane survivors and includes stories of how they have touched each other’s lives. DVDs are available from 800-524-2612.

Wesley M. "Pat" Pattillo, NCC Associate General Secretary, Justice, Advocacy and Communication, represents the NCC on the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission, which plans many high-quality network programs similar to this one each year.. Shirley Whipple Struchen is the NCC's Coordinator of Electronic Media Programming.

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 36 member faith groups -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell), pjenks@ncccusa.org

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