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    Saturday
    Nov282009

    Thanksgiving Volunteerism

    On Thanksgiving Day, The NOLA Tree participated in its first local community outreach effort. A small group of our volunteers spent part of their day lending a hand at Broadway Community.

    Broadway Community is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, a faith and community-based social service group that provides emergency food, clothing, and shelter to those in need in New York City. Each week, Chef Michael Ennes, a member of the Broadway Community staff, leads the effort to provide meals to the hungry. On Thanksgiving Day, Chef Maureen spearheaded the holiday program, making most of the food by herself -- 60 turkeys and hundreds of meals!

    For some volunteers with The NOLA Tree, the experience reminded them of their first trip to New Orleans, when they worked with Emergency Communities. During that 2007 brigade, volunteers helped serve hundreds of meals to residents and volunteers, spending hours and hours in the kitchen, dining area, and dish pit.

    "So many people wanted to help out," said Luis. "It reminded me of the energy of the volunteers in the Lower Ninth Ward." Luis has spent part of his last two summers in New Orleans.

    Cecilia, a volunteer who has not yet been to New Orleans, echoed Luis's thoughts.

    "I was surprised by how many people showed up to volunteer," she said. "It's great that so many people are willing to help out."

    That's what The NOLA Tree is all about. We understand that so many people -- so many young people -- want to help others. Young people today want to be involved in community development. They want to be personally invested in the future.

    So we're creating that vehicle. The NOLA Tree brings young volunteers together to work with other non-profit and service organizations in New Orleans and around the globe on a variety of community development efforts. We challenge our volunteers to think freely, problem-solve, and develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the world so that they will have the tools to be the leaders of tomorrow.

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” --Margaret Mead


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