Fighting Poverty with Passion
“Well, Mardis Gras officially ended at midnight, Tuesday. And, judging by the weight I put on during those eight eye-popping, mind-blowing days it’s not called Fat Tuesday for nothing. And, of course, the Super Bowl victory ramped up the whole celebratory mood to unprecedented heights (even by New Orleans’ standards).
In the midst of all the partying and Carnival craziness we welcomed two new volunteers…both named Nick so, of course, they became The Two Nicks. They were at Pre-Service Orientation in Albuquerque when the euphoric city had the Saints victory parade, but made it back in time for the frenzy of Mardi Gras. And after this whirlwind intro to New Orleans they begin their assignments today: one Nick is from Illinois and will be working for the Gulf Restoration Network and the other is from Georgia and will be with the VIGOR program at the City’s Office of the Mayor. Oh, and I forgot to mention that on top of everything else, New Orleans somehow managed to elect new city officials – including a new mayor – in the midst of all the hoopla. So, this should be an exciting time to work at City Hall. Four of our members will be ending their VISTA service in about eight weeks, but we were told by VISTA’s state office that we won’t be able to recruit for replacements. It’s, of course, always ideal when a departing member can pass the torch to an incoming volunteer, but such are the vagaries of national service. We’re hopeful that those four partner organizations won’t be going long without volunteer help. In the meantime, we all continue working towards a restored and revitalized New Orleans…the Saints and Carnival were two giant steps in that direction.” -Jim Trombella, VISTA Leader