Nearly 40,000 young people are using their summer vacation to help Hurricane Katrina victims through an event sponsored by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Teenagers from 49 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are taking part in the "Jesus Justice Jazz" gathering in New Orleans, La.
The three-day event, which started Wednesday, involves 154 community service projects, all in the name of Christ.
Every day of the conference, organizers say one-third of the young Lutherans will volunteer in a neighborhood where work still needs to be done.
"I'm really excited to start working and get to know people here," said attendee Alisyn Henry of Middletown, Md.
The church says they decided on the convention site in 2006, when New Orleans was still trying to recover following the hurricane.
"What we know is what we've seen on the news. We have not experienced it firsthand," said John Antonelli of Wilmington, N.C. "We've obviously seen the pictures of Katrina and the post-Katrina recovery and all the efforts and we want to be a part of that."
From trimming bushings to picking up paint brushes, most parents would agree it's a great way for their teens to spend summer vacation.