Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Freret Neighborhood Center: Kids, Candy, and New Beginnings

Time has been flying by at the Freret Neighborhood Center, and I am (extremely) thrilled to say the Freret Halloween Party is a) over and b) went very successfully! This event, like any other, requires a lot of work; from securing a location to soliciting donations to getting the right number of families to attend, the process can be intense and time-consuming. I have to say, the pay-off was absolutely worth it (and I’m not just talking about the leftover Whoppers I’m snacking on right now).

In my last post, I talked a bit about why we’ve held this event for the past eight years. It’s important to give the kids in our area a safe and fun place to celebrate Halloween. The FNC was founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when our neighborhood wasn’t exactly the best place for children to be walking around outside at night. This party was a way to give residents a way to build community — or rebuild, rather — and to relieve the stresses of purchasing costumes or knowing which houses were safe to approach.

We were able to welcome nearly 300 children and 70 volunteers to our event this year, as well as parents and friends of the participants. It was a bit smaller than it’s been in previous years, but still a big success. The children and volunteers were able to have a more one-on-one experience.

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One of our volunteers painting faces at the Freret Halloween Party.

In other news, our director, Eva Sohl, will be resigning in the coming weeks. She’s really the heart of the Freret Neighborhood Center; the connections she has made and kept, as well as the absurd amount of hard work she’s done, have made the FNC what it is today. I’m so sad to see her go, but very happy that she’s moving on and beginning new chapters of her life. She has been carrying the weight of this organization — and, by extension, this community — for five long years, and has put everything she has into this cause. I have no doubts she will only go on to do even more great things, and I’m truly glad that I had the chance to work with her for the past 15 months.

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Eva promoting our costume drive for the Freret Halloween Party on WDSU.

Halloween costume donation drive happy hour at Gasa Gasa!

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This entry was posted on November 17, 2014 by in VISTA Field Reports.

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