Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Haunted: October at Eden House

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Celebrating a resident’s one year anniversary in our program!

I’ve only been at Eden House for 3 months, but some days it feels like a lifetime. We are well into the holiday season and the celebrations at Eden House just keep coming. In the past month we’ve had a few more birthdays, a few more milestones and a lot of Halloween spirit. There are even already calls coming in about Thanksgiving and Christmas.

But even with all the celebrating, October was haunted.

The longer I am with the women in the program and the more comfortable they get with my presence in the house, the more I am privileged with their stories.  I knew when I applied to Eden House that it would be emotionally taxing, but it is one thing to know and 11100347_924559654263879_2141342383991101697_nanother entirely to feel.  Some pieces of some stories I’ve heard in the last month, however, have been triggering for me. My history cannot begin to touch the heartache that many of their histories contain, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult to swallow. This was an aspect of this job that I was not expecting.

My story, however, also features a beautiful network of support. I have had so many wonderful people in my life who have given me the kind of love and support that have allowed me to move into a bright future. I would not be here if it
were not for the amazing people that I connect with consistently and the many individuals who I have never physically met but have supported me otherwise. And it amazes me every day as I get calls from individuals and groups alike looking to donate (mostly clothes—many clothes!), and as I receive mail and messages from so many people who have never met the women that they are supporting, but who love and support these women anyway. It is truly inspiring.

The days of October have passed like a ghost in a dream–a flurry of new bikes decorations and costume ideas. Most of my work days have passed in hours of fundraising planning and immersing myself in the Garden of Eden.  I have been working tirelessly on guest lists and invitations that my mind is an endless sea of names.

So, yes, October was a little haunted, but the end of October feeds into the promise of November and November promises to be a fortunate time for Eden House. I am excited to see all the individuals who have supported and continue to support Eden House and its women, and all the individuals ready to make commitments to our cause for the future.

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Jack-o-lanterns in our apartment garden to light the way into our 1st Halloween in New Orleans!

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P.S. Thank you to the Youth Empowerment Project for helping me find the perfect blue bike for rides around the city.

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P.P.S If you would like to support and donate to Eden House, please visit our website for details on how you can help! #chooselove #lovewins

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This entry was posted on November 4, 2015 by in VISTA Field Reports and tagged , .

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