GiveNOLA Day yields positives for local non-profits

Devon Walker Foundation, Dr. K, Arc among beneficiaries

Several St. Charles Parish based nonprofit organizations were among beneficiaries of the nearly $6 million dollar fundraising effort made for the sixth annual GiveNOLA Day this month.

The Devon Walker Foundation, the Dr. K Movement and Arc of St. Charles were St. Charles Parish representatives among the 752 total organizations throughout Southeast Louisiana the fundraising effort directs to. Other River Parish affiliated non-profits involved included Prodigy Youth Foundation, Matthew 25:25 Ministries and BC Cup Foundation.

The event is held by the Greater New Orleans Foundation each year as a 24-hour event that starts at 12:01 a.m. and concludes at midnight on the day it falls. Donations are made online — anyone can donate, and donations have been drawn from all over the country and even outside of it. Those who donate choose the non-profit their funds will go toward. A listing and synopsis of each organization and its purpose was posted on the event’s website, givenola.org.

This year, 50,291 total donations were made.

Over $1,500 was raised for the Devon Walker Foundation, which was participating in its third year.

The group was founded by Destrehan High School alumnus and former Tulane football star Devon Walker, who was paralyzed after suffering a severe spinal cord injury while playing with the Green Wave in September of 2012.

His organization was founded to create global awareness and education of spinal cord injuries in an effort to prevent those kinds of injuries in the future while bettering the lives of those who have already suffered them. The group does the latter through supplying adaptive equipment, funding advancements in medical treatments and providing knowledge on where and how one can find proper assistance.

GiveNOLA Day has raised between $7,000 and $8,000 for the Walker Foundation over the three years the latter has been involved.

“It’s a really great event that helps out so many non-profits throughout the area,” Walker said. “It’s definitely a big lift for us and it’s for sure rewarding that people see the things we’re doing and want to extend a helping hand.”

“It’s for sure rewarding that people see the things we’re doing and want to extend a helping hand.”— Devon Walker

His organization has held charity events like basketball games to raise money for the group’s efforts and are looking at doing another potentially in the near future. For now, he said the group is focused on increasing its exposure so as many people as possible who could be helped by his organization know that fact.

“Otherwise, we’re focusing on helping everyone we know we can help out in any way we can,” he said. “We just want people to know we’re here to help individuals who are paralyzed and to know how we can help them.”

Arc of St. Charles provides services and support to people of all ages with developmental and intellectual disabilities and special needs, with an aim at helping spur them to reach their full potential. The group has been working toward that end since it was established in 1971, and provides their services to St. Charles, St. John, St. James, St. Mary, Lafourche, Terrebonne and Assumption Parishes.

The Dr. K Movement was established to help convicted felons transition back into society once done serving their jail terms and to influence at-risk youth in a positive way. The organization aims to help guide each child to make good decisions, while teaching the consequences of choosing wrong ones.

Tyronne Walker, vice president of communications and public affairs for the Greater New Orleans Foundation, said this year represented new record highs in funds raised — by about $400,000 — and number of donors.

“I think it’s fascinating and exciting to see how much it’s grown,” Tyronne Walker said. “We never envisioned it would grow this big. It’s a great testament to the growth and work of non-profits … and the people of South Louisiana, who are very generous.

“I think it’s more than a day about raising money, and has become a day where people can come together and do something positive.”

GiveNOLA impact

  • Established six years ago, GiveNOLA Day raised nearly six million dollars this year for non-profits throughout Southeast Louisiana.
  • Those include St. Charles Parish-based organizations in the Devon Walker Foundation, the Dr. K Movement and Arc of St. Charles.
  • 2019 saw record numbers for the single day, online-based event established by the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

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