GiveNOLA Day

The St. Vincent de Paul Tri-Parish Community Pharmacy volunteer staff and Father Jay Baker smile for a photo after the blessing of the new location on Canal Street in February of this year.

The Greater New Orleans Foundation’s (GNOF) online donation campaign, GiveNOLA Day 2019 supports 20 Tri-Parish non-profit organizations.

Those nonprofits are the Autism Society, Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary Foundation, Bayou Grace Community Services, Bayou Playhouse, Bayou Region Amateur Radio Society, Chabert Medical Center Foundation, Dulac Community Center, Faith Ministries International, Fletcher Technical Community College Foundation, Friends of the Terrebonne Animal Shelter, Hail Mary Rescue, MacDonnell Children’s Services, Nicholls State University Foundation, South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center, St. Vincent de Paul Tri-Parish Community Pharmacy, Terrebonne Red Ribbon/Team Spirit, United Houma Nation Inc., United Way of South Louisiana, Upside Down and Young Life Houma organizations.

One of the 20 local participants, the non-profit arm of United Houma Nation (UHN) helps members of their tribe — which total over 17,000 internationally — through various service programs, such as their vocational rehabilitation program that helps their members with disabilities obtain and keep employment.

They also have programs that help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. “We try to do our best to be able to bring more services, and that nonprofit arm allows us to address more of the social and economic issues that are facing the community,” said Lanor Curole, administrator of UHN.

“Nonprofits survive by giving. It’s such a key element,” Curole explained. “Sure, we get grant funds and things like that, but anytime you get grant funds, there’s a lot of strings that come attached to that or you’re very limited how you can utilize the funds…And so being able to have general operating or seed money to start new projects and things like that, a lot of times comes from individual donors.”

For UHN — who have been a participant in GiveNOLA Day since the event’s inception in 2014 — there are two campaigns listed for them on the GiveNOLA official website, givenola.org. One, with a goal of $2,500, is to transition the tribe’s records to an electronic format for preservation and to secure additional documents to create a comprehensive tribal archive.

The other campaign, also having a $2,500 goal, is to help support youth leadership programs for the future of their tribe. “Investing in them [the youth] and creating leadership development opportunities are key to growing the next generation of tribal leaders. This campaign is to support programming that will ensure tribal youth are taught traditional arts, history and way of life while also ensuring they understand how their tribal government works on their behalf,” reads the campaign’s statement on GiveNOLA’s website.

Another local beneficiary of GiveNOLA, St. Vincent de Paul Tri-Parish Community Pharmacy hopes to gain funds through the event in order to keep purchasing medicine for their patients and pay other expenses so the pharmacy can continue running.

Known as the “Pharmacy of Last Resort”, the community, state-certified pharmacy — located at 201 Canal St., Houma — provides free medication to those in the Tri-Parish community who can’t afford health insurance and receive no government health aid or Veterans’ benefits.

In 2018, St. Vincent de Paul provided 5,515 free prescriptions to those in need, which totaled nearly $820,000 worth of medicine, according to Colleen Lewis, secretary of the St. Vincent board and volunteer. Lewis also noted that the pharmacy spends around $12,000 a month buying medicine.

“We provide a wonderful service to the less fortunate of our area in providing them with lifesaving medicines that they wouldn’t otherwise receive. We are helping keep people well by being able to provide them with their maintenance medicines…Without this pharmacy, some people wouldn’t be taking their medicines on a regular basis,” Lewis told the Times. “…So that would be a reason to donate to us so that we can continue to try and help the people in the community who can’t afford their medicines that keep them healthy.”

GiveNOLA Day starts at 12:01 a.m. on May 7 and ends 24-hours later. To give to one of the twenty local nonprofits and/or any from outside the area, donors can visit givenola.org, search for their desired cause and make a donation. •

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