Sunday, July 27, 2008

As "The Village" becomes a powerful force in its own right, LEEP and its members continue to be involved in many aspects of fund raising and program development. At this time, we invite you to channel your web-browser to to donate to this incredible project. Their sister-site blog has listings of activities and progress being made at The Village.

LEEP continues to support "The Village", but as one of many incredible groups of dedicated individuals. Our specific works are mighty cogs in a much greater wheel that is "The Village".

Building and supporting this blog was a gift of love and learning. The LEEP group is forever in my heart, holding a special place of caring and love.

With love,

Sheila K

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fasten Your Seatbelts...The Village is TAKING OFF!

Angie reports that volunteers are beginning to put up interior walls according to the architectural plans. Amazing. Mack and Dar are very excited. Mack says that the Village is really starting to look like a great new part of the Community. He sounds like a proud Papa! Mack is heading up to New York to put up a display at a conference about non-profit service projects. This is a great opportunity to spread awareness. There are many many possibilities for great things to happen from this trip. This opportunity arose like a miracle out of contacts that are coming in every day to the Village. If you are anything like me, you are just amazed that it happened and can't wait to hear more about it.

Some students at the University of Tennessee held a concert featuring musicians from New Orleans and raised $750. The check is on the way. Isn't it wonderful how the students are making such a huge contribution to the entire recovery effort?

There is an expectation that this summer will see a large influx of returning residents. Conditions within the Lower 9th have reached a point that families will return in May and June when their children have completed school. They will need a lot of assistance to get reestablished for the start of school in September. To prepare for this, Acorn, Common Ground, Katrina Corps, Rebuilding Together and other volunteer organizations are meeting together with Mack to coordinate their efforts. Much of this effort will be centered at the Village. Additionally, there will be a need for programs for the children.

Teresa’s mission group will be at the Village from May 31 to June 7. Her group has raised $6700 for the Village. All of this money will be used at the Village. They are each paying their own travel expenses. They plan on holding children’s bible study in the mornings and a program for the elderly. They are intending on concentrating on completing the art room. This will help meet one of the needs for children’s programs for the summer. They are also planning on a community barbecue at the end of their trip. The largest part of the fundraising came from a Bingo with Longenberger baskets as the prizes. The church has a policy that they will not support games of chance so getting support for this fundraiser was quite an accomplishment. Teresa bought the baskets with her own money and had the congregation sponsor basket purchases later. She says that this type of fundraiser is very possible in other areas as well. Six years ago, Teresa started a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. This mission trip has become an annual event. It is possible that the trip to the Lower 9th may become an annual event also. The number of team members has increased from 9 to 12. This includes one member who told Teresa that he is in awe of her leadership. I am also in awe at this accomplishment. If there ever was to be an example of what leadership is all about, this would be perfect. She has used every leadership technique that we were taught in creating an incredible result. Please acknowledge this accomplishment. Well done, Teresa!

Mission trips not only bring much needed immediate help, they also ripple out to others as the mission participants bring the message of need to others. Earlier this year, Tami White, a teacher in California came to New Orleans on a mission trip with her 13 year old son. She was shocked to see the devastation that still existed nearly 3 years after the flood. She is leading a drive for her students to obtain backpacks with school supplies for the fall for students living in the Lower 9th.

(Thanks go to John R for his reporting!)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Basketballs, Movies and Computers!!!

From John of our fearless LEEP Leaders!

The Village is already having an impact on the community. It is a focal point where volunteer groups like Elder Hostel and Historic Green can gather, do volunteer work at the Village and go out into the community and do volunteer work in the community. In addition to attracting volunteers to the Village, it is serving to attract volunteers to the community as well. It is really looking good with its fresh paint, clean grounds and new landscaping.

There are also two new exciting developments at the Village that will be able to provide services and benefit to the community.

Firstly and very simply, lines have been painted on one end of the floor and a basketball net has been obtained so that people can have a place to shoot baskets. This has already been used and will immediately be able to attract youth to the Village. It is a place where the youth can gather to do something positive for themselves.

Secondly, Common Ground has installed 10 computers and provided internet connections in the Computer Lab. This will provide new connections from the community to the outside world and provide a place where children can do homework and school assignments. It creates amazing opportunities for people to learn new skills, make connections to their relatives and neighbors who have been displaced, look for work, connect to government services and many other empowering activities.

(Thanks to John for his tireless efforts on behalf of LEEP and The Village)

Monday, March 10, 2008

An Invitation to Serve



MAY 31st 2008- JUNE 7th 2008

R.S.V.P. REQUESTED BY 3/12/08 to Teresa at:

Please stand with me as a LEADER and the mission team I've created as we go to the Lower 9th Ward to work, play, and build relationships with the people in the community. As a great team of leaders we have been doing so much for the community, now I want to go be with the families there and let them see through us that there is hope and that they are not alone. We will be working at the Village, in the community, and hosting after school programs for the children at the center.

To support Troy and his mission, we will be staying at his mission house, which holds 20 people and I intend to pack the house!!!! E-mail me today to reserve your spot before they're all gone.

I am going on this trip as Teresa Barrett the worthy, compassionate woman that I am, longing to reach out and give hugs to the Lower Ninth Ward people. I hope that you come and share this experience with me.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Historic Green Project at the Village!

The Historic Green project is commencing March 8 and will continue until March 23. This is a national group that is committed to restoring historic communities and buildings in an environmentally way. They have a group of 500 volunteers who will be working around the Lower 9th Ward. The headquarters for the project will be at the Village.

We will have a projector for showing Lorrie's presentation (see links to the right to view here!) and other videos. We will also have Tree of Growth brochures. Think of the power of this event. Obviously it is an important fundraising opportunity but also 500 people will hear our message and carry it around the community and around the country.

During this time, MOVIE NIGHT will happen! It will go on in two areas simultaneously, one area for children and one area for adults and youth. This is the first regularly scheduled program to be offered by the Village. What a great opportunity to see all of the work of LEEP and everyone who has donated to this project at work!

Thanks to all of the folks who helped to make MOVIE NIGHT happen! And to John R., who has been working tirelessly to lead the leaders of LEEP. Organizing phone calls and orchestrating volunteers from across the country is a cat herding job at best. John makes it look easy (we all know it isn't!) and does it with style and inspires all of us.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What's Up at the Village?

LEEP has been working to create a MOVIE NIGHT at the Village. Our goal is to have the first movie shown on March 15th. We have had a projection system donated, as well as several movies. We still need a VCR player and a DVD player. We have several cash donations and the hunt for a real popcorn machine is ongoing as well!
This will be a great event and we would like to see this become a monthly event for the community to come together. What a great evening of fun. Popcorn & movies! If you'd like to help out, please contact us via this blog, donate on the "PayPal" button to the right or send a check to the Finance Chairman (listed on the right)!
I have to tell a little side story (as usual)! When I was younger (can't remember the exact year), I begged my mom to see "Gone With The Wind" (and no, it wasn't in 1939...) She finally relented and I was off to my hometown theater to see Scarlett and Rhett together...ah the romance of it all! I was really enjoying the movie until the burning of Atlanta. For some reason no longer in my memory, that scene really scared me and I left the theater, running home to avoid it! My mom talked to me about this and I ended up back the next day to sit through the entire movie all by myself!
How many times have we looked forward to something only to be frightened that it didn't happen the way we expected? Even as adults we have expectations that don't pan out. Returning to face our fears isn't always easy, but it is necessary to progress and grow. Even if we face our fears and THEN leave, at least we have taken the steps needed to face the fear and move on.
LEEP wants to help families return to the Lower Ninth Ward. Imagine how scary that must any age! Assisting the Village to provide services for children and families in this neighborhood is one way to help get people back and hopefully for them to stay! Whatever you can do to help us reach this goal is much appreciated. (Sheila K)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Proud? Dang Straight

If you haven't looked at the photos lately (and even if you have!) you'll be AMAZED at what a bulldozer and several thousand dollars of trees will do for a place. After the painting week spent by the Scranton Gang (thanks Shannon!) I couldn't picture the "what's next". Check out the pictures just posted today (2/7) to see the results. (And again...thanks to Dar for her photography...this place is NOTHING without pictures!)

WOW...a bulldozer comes in, levels the yard, makes a REAL ditch on the side of the building, sprinkle in a liberal dose of trees and WOOOO HOOOO. It's gorgeous!

What is next? If you've been watching our progress, you know that this is a seriously intense endeavor of volunteers and dedicated professionals working to make a difference in an area that has been ignored for too long.

Tax-deductible donations are still being accepted to continue the renovation of the building to BEcome the VILLAGE. Click on the PayPal button or send a check to the address on the right. Remember, it's tax time...give your money to a GREAT cause!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Progress in LEEPS and Bounds!

Please look at the latest photo album in our photo collection...Such PROGRESS! A group of students from Scranton University spent a week at the Village working on painting and other projects. It is INCREDIBLE what was achieved during that week.

The Seafood boil at the Village looked yummy AND the Scranton students put on a boil of their own. I'm sure that process will be repeated up north from the looks of the satisfied diners!

Have a great week!
Sheila K

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Progress Report

If you click on the Progress in Pictures link to the right (under links), you'll be able to see the latest photos from the work site. What a difference 4 months can make!!! The roof is complete. The windows are complete. The inside is DRY!!!

There is a Seafood Boil fundraiser happening on Saturday January 12th, and based on the food we ate on work day, you don't want to miss it!!!

Date: Saturday, January 12th, 2008
Time: 11 am - 3 pm
Place: The Lower 9th Ward Village
1001 Charbonnet St
Price: $10/plate

For more info, call 504-799-8975