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    Monday
    Feb152010

    The Soul of The NOLA Tree in Action, Helping Haiti, Part I

    "Young people make up the soul of The NOLA Tree. They are the common thread that runs through all of our initiatives. Without question, the success of our organization lies within our young volunteers."

    When we first drafted The NOLA Tree’s business plan last summer, we outlined six “Keys to Success.” The words above served as the preamble to that section of the plan.

    Well, over the course of these last few weeks, we have seen the soul of our organization in action. It is inspiring. It is a story that needs to be shared.

    In response to the earthquake in Haiti, The NOLA Tree originally intended to take a “bigger picture” approach. Mindful of the lessons of Hurricane Katrina and cognizant of the inevitability of “disaster fatigue,” The NOLA Tree sought to be in a position to help out weeks, months and even years down the road. That is still our organization’s goal, but it wasn’t enough for our volunteers. Our young participants wanted to lend a hand now.

    Heeding that call, Ana Galan, one of The NOLA Tree’s Executive Directors, learned about the AFYA Foundation through one of our volunteers, Jake Feinman. AFYA is an organization that partners with a network of donor hospitals, health organizations, corporations, and individual households for the collection of medical supplies. They needed help sorting through clothing and medical supplies headed for Haiti.





    Our young volunteers jumped at the opportunity to help. Four times these last few weeks, Ana has led groups of young people to the bitter cold warehouse in Yonkers, New York, where they’ve spent hours preparing the shipments bound for Haiti.





    However, this still wasn’t enough for these sixteen teenagers. They wanted to do more. So some of them got their parents involved, too, and after this weekend, nine parents are now part of the effort, and without a doubt, more will be coming aboard.



    Service is contagious. Helping others is contagious. Our volunteers are leading the way.

    This past Saturday evening, seven teenagers from The NOLA Tree met with Niky Fabiancic, a Resident Representative from the United Nations Development Plan.

    Here’s what our volunteers plan to do next…
    « The Soul of The NOLA Tree in Action, Helping Haiti, Part II | Main | Sorting Clothes and Medical Supplies for Haiti »