I had the great pleasure and honor of teaching kids at The Boys and Girls Club in New
Orleans last week. I cried like a baby when I said goodbye last Friday and was still crying 2
days later, but that doesn’t serve them well. My energy for tears is better used in helping
them obtain kitchen equipment.
It was inspiring watching the people who work there everyday-Mr. DiBartolo, Mr. Guy,
Kyle “Coach,’ Veronica and Renata, and being able to be a part of it for the time I was
there. They are wonderful caring people who truly love these kids and want to make their
These kids are hungry when they arrive after school, some hadn’t had lunch, won’t have
dinner or both. They need food and will pretty much eat whatever is served them. The
building has a room that is their ‘kitchen’ but does not have a stove or oven. There is a
sink, a dishwasher and 2 microwaves. They have a hot plate, but no pots or pans. I supplied
a stockpot and made them chicken, veggie and brown rice soup. Some were hesitant at first
because the veggies weren’t something they were used to, but most really liked it! We
made roll-ups using whole-wheat tortillas, hummus, and raw veggies. Again, questioning
looks, but a hit. Apple and celery slices were popular, especially with peanut butter, and the
local director, Mr. Guy, will be changing to peanut butter he can grind himself.
30 kids attend each day and this number can swell dramatically in the summer months. All
these kids and the budget is about $100.00 a month for food. Not possible even for me and
I can stretch a dollar with the best of them!
You don’t have to go to New Orleans to find hungry kids and kids who need love and
attention of course, but with Katrina still visible in their neighborhood they are more needy
I was able to do some major lobbying while there (I was a pain in the neck for restaurant
owners and everyone else who would listen to me) and have a fundraiser in the works for
the kitchen they so desperately need. They want to learn to cook, they want to learn to be
productive and they want to have a better life. Mostly they want and need people to care
about their futures and we all should. This cycle of poverty can be stopped if we think
about one child at a time.
Please help if you can. The President of The Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana is
Mr. Johnny DiBartolo and his address is 650 Poydras Street, Suite 2225 New Orleans, LA.
70130. Please send a check for whatever you can spare and let him know it is for the
The kids thank you so much,