Three New Orleans Youth Strive to Make a Difference

Kevin Kieschnick – LINC New Orleans

To commemorate the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, neighbors, church members, and AmeriCorps members came together to better their community through service. Community Development at its Finest: 

PRESS RELEASE
September 9, 2011
Contact: Laura Brenner at 504-656-4025

New Orleans, LA: It’s a beautiful Saturday morning; the sun is shining, perfect weather for basketball, taking a run, or sleeping the day away.  Which is exactly what this eclectic group of people would be doing, if not for the common goal that brought them together: strengthening the community. To commemorate the 6th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall, City Year New Orleans partnered with the Bywater Neighborhood Association in a day long beautification initiative.  Communities First Association partner, LINCNewOrleans heard about this great collaboration and wanted to strengthen the effort.

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Trees in the Desert!

Monika Grasley – LifeLine CDC – CA

Isaiah 41 has a beautiful passage: “When the poor and needy are dying of thirst and cannot find water, I, the LORD God of Israel, will come to their rescue. I won’t forget them. I will make rivers flow on mountain peaks……. I will fill the desert with all kinds of trees…. Everyone will see this and know that I, the holy LORD God of Israel, created it all.”

Winton is in the middle of the ‘agricultural bread bowl of the world’ and yet the town is like a desert, with few trees to give shade during the hot summer months, streets without sidewalks for the children to walk to school and with gang activities that make it unsafe to visit the local park.

During community conversations it became clear that the community wanted more trees for the main street (Winton Way). Under Ernie and Adrian’s leadership community members researched what could be done.

They found out that a group has been working with the local state prison to grow trees for nearby communities. They learned that the local middle school was in the process to get some of the trees for their campus.

So their journey began!

  • They spoke with the County and received permission to plant the trees and to have the county maintain them. The County also donated some of the equipment.
  • They spoke with the business community and local volunteers to get them to commit to water the trees in front of their businesses.
  • They spoke with the school and prison to get 20 trees donated.
  • They spoke with community members to make it a joint effort of planting who brought with them the tools and expertise.

So when the day neared to plant the trees it was a day of celebration! So many community members came out to help with it, so many enjoyed the fruit of their labor.

2 weeks ago was the spring parade in Winton and the little trees were in bloom for the enjoyment of the community.

We hope and pray that these trees will have “Everyone see this and know that I, the holy LORD God of Israel, created it all.”

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