Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: Eden House December Update

Delicious gingerbread cookies the ladies at Eden House made over the weekend.

Delicious gingerbread cookies the ladies at Eden House made over the weekend.

December thus far has been a month of holiday preparation. The holidays can be an especially challenging season for our Eden House family – highlighting separation from family and loved ones and past holidays spent on the streets, prison, and/or other less than festive situations. During my second December with Eden House, I have found that though the odds are sometimes stacked against this family, the holidays also have the power to bring out some of the purest expressions of love and hope I have ever witnessed. Today we celebrated the birthday of one of Eden House’s first residents. As we gathered round the cake she expressed just how happy she was to be celebrating this birthday at home, this home. The holidays have the power to be a sort of macro birthday for the whole Eden House crew. With our motley assortment of decorations lovingly put up by volunteers and residents, our beautiful tree filling the house with the scent of pine needles, and fresh batches of cookies when I get here on Mondays – the house this December has been full of laughter and love, leaving me more in the holiday spirit than I think I have been in several years and without a doubt gifting me with a sense of gratitude and joy to accompany me on my travels home next week.

Eden House's Christmas Tree is up and beautifully decorated!

Eden House’s Christmas Tree is up and beautifully decorated!

If you would like to be a part of the holidays here at Eden House, we are asking for donations of presents and services to Eden House for our residents for Christmas.  If you are interested in giving a gift to one of the ladies at Eden House, please contact Helen at assistant@edenhousenola.org for gift ideas. Thank you for helping to make the holiday season a special time for our residents!

If you would like to receive a Christmas Card from Eden House but are unsure if we have your physical address on file, please send it to Helen at assistant@edenhousenola.org.

December has also witnessed a sad farewell – our wonderful Tulane Social Work Intern, Kelsey Moore, completed her year long tenure with Eden House and graduated. Kelsey was one of Eden House’s first interns and certainly its longest thus far! We will miss her energy, compassion, and laugh – but know she will be doing powerful, important things with her hard earned degree!

Kelsey Moore and her supervisor, Program Director, Helene Greece, at Kelsey's going away party.

Kelsey Moore and her supervisor, Program Director, Helene Greece, at Kelsey’s going away party.

We also have several internship openings for next semester — please check out the list with descriptions here. For more information on our Website/Social Media Internship, Development Internship, and Graphic Design Internship please contact Maggie at info@edenhousenola.org

If you’d like to read more about the issue of human trafficking — Check out this article on pages 12-16, titled “People for Sale: An overview of Human Trafficking.” The article was written by Eden House President and Co-Founder, Katherine Green and provides a detailed look at human trafficking, specifically on the local level in Louisiana.

Recently, delegates from Bosnia-Herzegovina with the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program toured Eden House. Part of our mission at Eden House is to attack the global human trafficking problem through education-educating people here in the US and people fighting the problem abroad. After their visit, they sent this response to Eden House: “This talk with the two ladies managing the program at Eden House, and certainly our experience there with them and those they’re literally saving, was the most powerful and moving appointment of this entire project. All three IV’s (international visitors) were emphatic about this. It was a very bold move to send our group to this home knowing ahead of time the gut-wrenching issues (sex trafficking, prostitution, etc) and real-life efforts transpiring there daily, but it was absolutely relevant and transformative for these IV’s. In fact, they kept repeating to me how they could not believe the U.S. State Dept would be this honest and open in revealing the dark side within our country. I believe they recognized this transparency is a small part of resolving the issues eventually.”

****Please visit www.edenhousenola.org if you would like to learn more about the work we do or if you would like to donate to Eden House.****

 Eden House's Holiday Cards!

Eden House’s Holiday Cards!

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