Deeply affected by the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina, Landmark participant Catherine Martinez founded Love Knows No Bounds (LKNB), a non-profit organization designed to serve people in crisis situations. Fellow participant, Daniela Hess Scholl, partnered with Catherine to recruit teams of volunteers to rebuild homes and community buildings, strengthen local service programs, deliver material goods, provide respite and rejuvenation for survivors, and develop projects which empower affected residents.
LKNB was first drawn to the situation in New Orleans’ 7th Ward, a predominantly African-American community, where local leaders from churches and schools demonstrated a commitment to take care of people and rebuild neighborhoods. “We knew immediately from the courage and passion that these leaders exhibited that we could work together to get necessary initiatives up and running,” says Scholl.
Today, LKNB has extended its reach to Haiti, Japan, and other areas impacted by catastrophe. When crisis first strikes, LKNB sends in a team of volunteers to assess the situation and partner with local community leaders to alleviate urgent needs. Then they focus on larger issues, like rebuilding infrastructures and processes in a sustainable way. “We need to ensure that structures and the leadership are in place in such a way as to be successfully maintained by the community itself,” says Scholl.
“When crisis hits and people are stripped of the basic building blocks of life, it’s easy to spiral out of control,” says Scholl. “Through LKNB, we’ve had the opportunity to touch people’s lives in a way that returns to them a sense of security, hope and even optimism. I am proud to say that we have more than lived up to our motto, ‘Compassion. Connection. Action.’ and that we will continue to do so when communities are in need.”