Students from several St. Charles Parish Public Schools were the beneficiaries of free uniforms and hygiene kits thanks to the Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans.
Junior Achievement River Parish Impact Manager Karla Morris said the nonprofit organization partners year-round with River Region schools to promote entrepreneurship, financial literacy and career readiness, but that Hurricane Ida changed the organization’s focus in the fall.
“We knew we needed to do something to help but being a nonprofit we knew we didn’t have a lot of money to work with,” Morris said.
The organization applied for a grant through Iberia/First Horizon Bank, who had set money aside for community outreach following Hurricane Ida.
“We won $50,000,” Morris said. “We were so excited when we got that money. We knew it could really make a difference.”
Lafon Center Director Chris Aucoin-Melohn, who was placed on the SCPPS’ storm recovery team after Hurricane Ida, helped to orchestrate the donations.
“They reached out to us in September and asked what the needs were at that point because we had had a lot of water deliveries and food donations and things like that,” he said of Junior Achievement. “We were heading back into reopening and had heard from some families that uniforms would be a big need coming up.”
Aucoin-Melohn said the donations were sincerely appreciated from the district’s parents and students.
“One of the things that we wrote in our thank you note to Junior Achievement was that the donations supported the district’s recovery, and that we wouldn’t have been as successful without that act of generosity,” he said. “The level of success that we achieved was due to the incredible hard work of the people in the district and all of the outside support that we received from organizations like Junior Achievement.”