Fighting Poverty with Passion
It is now December and I am entering into my fifth month as a VISTA and incredibly grateful for all I have learned in my experience here so far. Doing this kind of work, I won’t lie isn’t easy and while the life of a VISTA isn’t necessarily glamourous, I give thanks for the experience this work has given me and the connections I have made here so far.
During the holiday season the BIA’s staff has been working hard to bring change before the new year and strengthen our existing institutions. We were able to offer our annual Thanksgiving food drive, sponsored by the Broadmoor Food Pantry to many families in our neighborhood. Though gathering those resources isn’t easy the time, effort, and organization that goes into feeding those in need paid off in the end. In addition to these efforts our development team was able to send out letters to over 80 blighted property owners in the neighborhood and continue our progress towards blight eradication in Broadmoor. We are also working with the city and other non profits’ efforts to increase water management in our area! These are just a few things that I have witnessed and been a part of while working at the BIA and am amazed at all the progress we make here.
In my experience working for a non profit like the BIA has been a dream for a career in development work. I get to see first hand what the process of civic engagement is on a smale scale, how a small non profit functions day to day, and the importance of innovation as the physical and environmental climate changes around us. One of the many strengths the BIA has is that it can provide social services as a neighborhood association to its constituents. I have now come to realize this is unique and a blessing in a city like New Orleans, where social services often fall through the cracks for those that need them most. The people that have come together to put in hard work, alongside dedicated residents who are invested in creating a better place to live, is what keeps me coming to work each day.
So in conclusion I am thankful to be on the staff of an organization that provides such greatly needed services in New Orleans, and to work with people who are so dedicated and passionate about their work. I am thankful for this learning and growth experience that will carry me a long way in life.