Posts Tagged ‘overcome’

Katrina’s Children

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Today’s blog post was written by Steve Reiher, VP of Marketing & Development for Operation Kids.

Have you ever wondered what experiencing Hurricane Katrina was like from a child’s perspective? Or how they are dealing with the experience more than two years after it happened?

It’s a story that needed to be told. That’s why we helped fund Katrina’s Children, a new documentary that explores the Katrina experience from the perspectives of 19 New Orleans children who lived through it.

The film was recently featured at the Miami International Film Festival and will soon be distributed across the country. Proceeds will fund a variety of children’s programs in New Orleans.

Katrina’s Children also recently premiered in New Orleans. Many children featured in the movie attended to see the film for the first time. It was a sobering experience.

The children of New Orleans experienced a wide range of emotions and faced different circumstances because of the storm. It was a life-changing event for all of them. We can learn a lot from the children of Katrina to prepare for (and recover from) future disasters. We can also draw inspiration from their strength in the face of such terrible adversity.

I encourage everyone to visit the Katrina’s Children website here . Or click here to watch a 3-minute trailer of this remarkable film.

Thanks again to everyone supporting Operation Kids’ efforts to help the children of New Orleans!

Blogging Live from New Orleans!

Friday, March 14th, 2008

As fate would have it, I find myself reading an AP article on another post-Katrina scandal, while in New Orleans. I am here making a site-check on various projects contained in our “Rebuilding Dreams in New Orleans” campaign.

The article is troubling to say the least because, well, it is true. Just an hour ago I had a conversation with the head of the New Orleans Recreation Department and he concurred that the private contractor named in this article did indeed ignore advice to disperse funds through local banks and financial institutions. This means that rather than residents going to business they knew…and who knew them, they were forced to deal en mass with an outside company who rushed them through a sloppy process. Yes, it is true.

However, there is more to report and it is equally true. The “good news” does not seem to make the headlines for some reason. Under new state leadership, monies are beginning to flow to those in need. And there are smaller independent projects that are making a large difference. I have listed them before, and I look forward to the day when this does not bear repeating. With the support of relatively modest donations, Rebuilding Dreams in New Orleans has opened the first fully accredited day care center post- Katrina, added a beautiful new playground, funded after school and internship programs for the Charter Science & Math High School, opened a new playground in partnership with the Allstate Foundation at Lyon’s Park and opened a new weight room at Lusher Charter School.

Electricians are pulling out old wiring and preparing to re-wire the lights so youth athletic programs can once again fully use Pontchartrain Park. The plans are now drawn for a complete football/baseball/soccer field at Lusher Charter School and the list continues.

I repeat this for one reason only; there are good stories to be told and good people to admire in New Orleans. I do not know why none of these stories hit the headlines. If the whole story is to be told, it should include both sides.

My concern is that New Orleans will be written off in the wake of these consistently negative stories. As much as those stories need to be told in order to keep a struggling system as honest as possible, please do not forget that there are parents, students, teachers and administrators; city council members, city and state employees and private contractors, who get up every morning and try against the toughest odds, to improve the city and the lives of future generations.   Join us as we celebrate a few successes in The Big Easy.