Local leaders spread awareness for nonprofit campaign

By:  Jacob Batt, HoumaToday.com

http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20150428/ARTICLES/150429577/0/search?p=all&tc=pgall

Lafourche and Terrebonne’s parish presidents joined forces today to encourage residents to take part in a fundraising campaign next week promoting the work of regional nonprofits.

Sponsored by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, GiveNOLA for the Bayou Region is a 24-hour online event aimed at promoting support of local nonprofits on May 5.

“Nonprofits are often an extension of local government, extending our outreach and advocacy. It is important that we continue to support them,” Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph said during a news conference at the Mathews Government Complex.

Residents will be able to donate as much as they want to their nonprofit of choice during the drive. The event coincides with the national campaign, “Give Local America.”

The Bayou Community Foundation is coordinating local efforts under the rallying cry of “Give Bayou.” Forty local nonprofits are participating.

“The 40 organizations have really inspired me as a person and as coordinator of this organization for their dedication for the work they do in our bayou region,” said Coordinator Jennifer Armand.

Last year, approximately 19,000 people donated more than $2.2 million for 309 organizations. Greater New Orleans Foundation Vice President of Development Alice Parkerson said she was amazed to see the goal of $1 million reached by 1 p.m. that afternoon.

This year’s goal, she said, is to raise $3 million for the more than 550 organizations who come from a 13-parish area.

As part of the day’s activities, local “giving celebrations” will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 5 at the Bayou Waterlife Museum, 7910 W. Park Ave. in downtown Houma, and at the Lafourche Parish Pavilion along La. 1 near the U.S. 90 overpass in Raceland. Lunches will be provided for $5, and participating organizations will provide information. Donation stations will also be available.

Proceeds from the lunches will be shared by all local organizations.

“With a donation as little as $10, everyone can be a philanthropist,” said Stephen Peltier, chairman of Bayou Community Foundation.

Organizations that will benefit include the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, Lafourche Arc, the United Houma Nation and the CASA programs that aid abused and neglected children in Terrebonne and Lafourche.

As federal and state budgets continue to shrink and reduce services, Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet said nonprofits help pick up the slack. He said he plans to donate $500 and challenged other elected officials to do the same.

“The government cannot solve our problems; the people in the community solve our problems,” Claudet said.

For a full list of the organizations that will benefit locally from GiveNOLA day, visit www.givebayou.org and click on the “Lafourche & Grand Isle” or “Terrebonne” tabs at the top of the page.

To donate, visit www.givenola.org anytime May 5.

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