LOREAUVILL BRANCH LIBRARY –
Come and “Paws to Read” at the Iberia Parish Library Summer Reading Program from May 29 – July 28. Special Kick-off Program: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 at 10:00 A.M. with storyteller, Andy Offutt Irwin. Story time every Wednesday at 10 A.M. thru the month of July. Come join the Fun!!!!!!!
Our Lady of Victory Food Pantry will be open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 A.M. until 2 P. M.
For emergency situations, please call Odessa Anthony at 380-9011 or John Broussard at 380-0998.
“The National Voice of Foster Parents”
7512 Stanich Avenue, #6 · Gig Harbor, WA 98335
FREDDIE MAC DONATION HELPS LOCAL RESOURCE CENTER PROVIDE HURRICANE RELIEF TO FOSTER FAMILIES
Gig Harbor, Wash. — June 8, 2006 — A recent grant of more than $42,000 from the Freddie Mac Foundation has helped New Orleans foster families continue to recover from Hurricane Katrina.
The grant, secured through efforts of the National Foster Parent Association, will be used by the Southeast Louisiana Foster and Adoptive Parents Association in Metairie to provide long-term recovery efforts for 550 foster families in Jefferson, Placquemines, St. Bernard, Orleans, St. John and St. Charles parishes.
“The need for help in southeast Louisiana is great. Many foster families have been unable to return and are still living outside the area,” said Missie Warwick, the founder and president of the SLFAPA. “This is one of the saddest things about the hurricane. New Orleans was not a wealthy city to begin with. The personal wealth of many families has been wiped out along with their belongings.”
Two of the hardest hit areas in New Orleans – St. Bernard and New Orleans East parishes -- had a significant number of foster families living there. Many of those families have been unable to return to their homes and are still living outside the city.
The hurricane made the need for the center’s support even greater. Families returning to the area need basic items such as furniture, clothing, linens and household appliances to refurbish their homes. “Help is still needed,” Warwick said. “New Orleans is lucky to have the commitment from so many non-profit and faith-based organizations to help with the rebuilding effort.”
For now, the resource center will accept donations of new and gently used items that will be available to foster families returning to the area. In the long-term, Warwick hopes to offer after-school tutoring and a head-start program in August for children returning to school.
Warwick, a native New Orleanian and foster mother for almost five years, developed the idea of a foster parent support group soon after becoming a foster mother herself. “During my first foster placement I had a 15-year-old child who refused to leave the mall one evening,” Warwick remembers. “I didn’t know who to turn to for help and I realized sitting in my car in the mall parking lot that a support system for foster parents was needed.”
Since 2001, Warwick and her husband, Brian, have fostered nine children in addition to raising their own three children. When Hurricane Katrina hit, Warwick evacuated to Houston with three foster children, her own three children, and the family dog. Upon returning to the city she found her home had 18 inches of water in it and a big hole in the roof. Since then, the family has been living on the second floor of the house as they await repairs. Two of her foster children remained in Houston while one was relocated to Baton Rouge. The Warwicks will wait to welcome additional foster children into their family until repairs are completed on their home.
“Living on the second floor of our home has been an incredibly normalizing thing,” said Warwick, who is also vice-chair of the Jefferson Disaster Recovery Partnership. “We consider ourselves very lucky.”
Late last year, the National Foster Parent Association was one of the first non-profit agencies to provide support to the Gulf Coast. NFPA provided personal hygiene items, clothing, dishes, cleaning products, bed linens and Christmas gifts. It has helped repair some homes in the area and has provided temporary housing support for foster families that could not get assistance from FEMA.
If you would like to donate to the New Orleans resource center, please contact Warwick at (504) 909-0691. “We do still need help. Since the center is new, our challenge is that much greater,” Warwick said.
The National Foster Parent Association, based in Gig Harbor, Wash., is the only national organization that strives to support foster parents and remains a strong voice on behalf of all children. Currently, more than 500,000 children are in the foster care system in America. For more information about NFPA, visit www.NFPAinc.org.