Burnell Cotlon, a former American armed services member, returned home shortly before Katrina hit the lower 9th ward in New Orleans. Seeing the community-wide devastation, Burnell sprang to action and used his life savings to open a grocery store in a building ravaged by the floodwaters of Katrina. Prior to opening the store, the community was a food desert; with no where to purchase fresh fruits or vegetables. But, Burnell was not finished helping his community respond to the effects of Katrina; as his community still lacked a laundry facility. Burnell reached out to and was able to secure the support of Ellen DeGeneres in obtaining new washers and dryers. All that Burnell needs now is $2,500 to finish the electrical and plumbing to bring a washateria to 5,000 members of the community who currently lack access to clean clothes.
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