The Most Non-Profit Time of the Year – Out to Lunch – It’s New Orleans
Each year around the holidays, we shift our collective focus for a few weeks. In addition to thinking about our own needs, we think about others. We buy gifts. We listen to music that’s all about unanimity. And we give to charity. For some people, this kind of largesse is not confined to the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s what they do every day.
Oji Alexander is Executive Director of a non-profit organization called Home By Hand, property developers who are attempting to pull off what has till now has seemed impossible. They develop neighborhoods so that new housing is not just affordable, but stays affordable. In other words, it’s an alternative to neighborhood-destroying, home-flipping, gentrification.
Brian Kish is Executive Director of The Emeril Lagasse Foundation, the charitable wing of Emeril’s culinary empire. It unites New Orleans’ arena of great success – food – with one of our fields of greatest distress – education. Since 2003, The Emeril Lagasse Foundation has disbursed over $10m in grants for children’s charities.
All of us have a wish-list of things we would like to improve in New Orleans. Potholes. Crime. Education. The sewerage and water board. Affordable housing. The list goes on. Most of us feel powerless to make any real difference in any of these areas. But, thankfully, not all of us think that wishing things were different is enough. Once in a while we get to meet people like Brian and Oji who dedicate themselves to making life better for all of us.