By: Kevinisha Walker, HoumaToday.com
Local residents helped their neighbors today by donating as part of the GiveNOLA Day for the Bayou Region.
In partnership with the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s GiveNOLA Day, the Bayou Community Foundation coordinated local nonprofits at Spahr’s Seafood Restaurants in Houma and Thibodaux to help raise money.
“It’s a way to attract our local nonprofits to participate in GiveNOLA Day and a way for our residents to give to bayou region nonprofits,” Bayou Community Foundation coordinator Jennifer Armand said.
GiveNOLA Day, in its third year and second locally, is a 24-hour online charitable giving event organized by the Greater New Orleans Foundation for communities in southeast Louisiana.
All the money raised at GiveNOLA for the Bayou Region goes toward all 54 participating nonprofits in the Al Danos Jr. Memorial Lagniappe Fund, which is named in memory of a former Bayou Community Foundation board member and vocal champion for the local community.
Last year, 40 local nonprofit organizations raised $40,000 and about $12,000 was raised for the Al Danos Jr. Memorial Lagniappe Fund.
This year’s goal is $50,000 for the nonprofits and $20,000 for the memorial fund.
As of 10 a.m. today, $22,000 was raised for the nonprofits, although technical difficulties with GiveNOLA’s website stalled donations.
Still, organizers were optimistic that they’d meet the goal.
In fact, many nonprofit organizers were simply happy with any donations they could get. One such organization was the Terrebonne Genealogical Society, which was among a number of nonprofits at the GiveNOLA for the Bayou Region event at Spahr’s in Houma.
“Our mission is to preserve historical information and family genealogical lineage,” Connie Gaines said. “We look forward to anything we can receive.”
The society uses donations to help libraries gather books, periodicals and software that helps people discover their lineage.
Hope Extreme, which serves east Houma’s youth, was another nonprofit at the fundraising event. Organizers sold jars of pickles and salsa that were canned by the kids from their community garden.
Organizers from the Dulac Community Center were also present to tell visitors about their organization and what financial support means for it.
“We formed in 1932 as an Indian Mission School and evolved to a full-fledged community center that provides services to bayou communities,” Dulac specifically, Executive Director John Silver said.
The nonprofit also provides support to families after natural disasters, health and wellness programs, initiatives for Native American youth and food to needy families.
“There are a lot of organizations in the community that do a lot of good and the community doesn’t know about them,” Silver said. “GiveNOLA Day helps us promote ourselves, the work we do and raise money to support the work we do.”