Even though it has now been more than 7 years since Hurricane Katrina hit on August 29, 2005, the devastation in St Bernard Parish remains overwhelming. Entire blocks of homes and businesses still stand empty and derelict, marked for destruction. The population is only about half of what it was before the disaster, and the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010 and hurricane Isaac in 2012 have only made things harder for those determined families who have managed to return.
As they continue one of the most daunting disaster recovery efforts this nation has ever seen, the people of St. Bernard have very practical needs. They need a centralized location for basic services like food and clothes and medical care so they can receive assistance easily and with dignity. They need a place to come together and share their ongoing frustrations and successes as they continue to work towards a full recovery. And they need to know that they have not been forgotten.
The Community Center of St Bernard works to meet those needs every day. We are dedicated to providing the survivors of hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Oil Spill with the practical resources they need to rebuild their lives and their communities. And we thank you for your generous help and support in making that goal a reality.
Community Center Wins Award as 2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Thanks to amazing reviews from our volunteers, clients and community partners, the Community Center of St Bernard has been recognized as one of the Top-Rated Nonprofits of 2012 by Great Nonprofits. We are very honored to receive this award, and we look forward to continuing our work helping the survivors of hurricanes Katrina and Isaac and the Gulf Oil Spill during 2013 and beyond.
The Community Center welcomes donations of canned foods, used clothing and books, personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, and baby care items for free distribution to local residents through our Mustard Seed program. All items should be in good condition and food should not be opened or spoiled. For more information about making a donation, please contact Mustard Seed Distribution Coordinator Je'Nae Bailey at 504-281-2512.
Donations of new or used books are also always appreciated. The Center would like to give a big THANK YOU to St Bernard Middle School Library Club for their generous donation of over 700 books; awesome job, everyone!!
And for those of you who have extra time, keep in mind that there are also many hands-on volunteer opportunities available at the Community Center in the office, clothing bank and food pantry distribution areas. To learn more, please go to www.ccstb.org/images/volunteers.pdf or phone the Community Center Office at 504–281–2512.
Finally, we are trying to obtain a donation of tshirts for volunteers and staff to wear during Community Center events so that visitors will know who to talk to if they have any questions or need assistance. We would ideally like to get 200 shirts in assorted sizes, with the Community Center logo on them. If you know of an organization or business that could donate these items, please let us know! We'll be glad to provide a receipt for tax deduction purposes.
Community Center Gives Back To Help Isaac Victims
Helping disaster victims is nothing new for the nonprofit Community Center of St Bernard. Established in April 2006 in response to hurricane Katrina, the Center has assisted more than 15,200 people over the years, thanks to the generosity of donors and grantors from Louisiana and all around the world. So it's no surprise that when the Community Center learned that over $15,000 worth of donations for hurricane Isaac victims had been stolen, the Center's Food Pantry and Clothing Bank stepped forward to help.
"When we heard that the thieves had specifically taken items that had been collected for infants, we knew that we had to do something", said Community Center Executive Director Iray Nabatoff. "We are very fortunate that in spite of the huge demand we've seen here for emergency food and clothing assistance, we had baby formula, diapers and toys on hand to help the Team Braithwaite Foundation after their loss."
Volunteers and staff members from the Community Center collected the donations and delivered them to the distribution center at Lynn Oaks School. "It's so sad that this happened," said long-time Center volunteer Sharon Ober, referring to the theft. "But it's really good to see how the community is coming together to replace what was taken. And we're just glad that we could help make things better."
Center Executive Director Iray Nabatoff Chosen For NORLI Class of 2013
On August 9, 2012 the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI) announced its selection of 43 business, civic, and community leaders throughout the region to participate in its thirteenth class.
NORLI is a nine-month program designed to enhance personal leadership skills and examine issues central to the advancement of the Greater New Orleans region. Through a competitive application process, the class brings together business, civic, and community leaders representing all races, genders, industries, and communities in the region with a mission to promote regional collaboration by providing a forum for the exchange of diverse viewpoints and a network of relationships.
“This class meets all of NORLI’s many criteria for diversity. The number of applicants for this year’s class was high, and we expect those selected to make up a strong, involved group. With the knowledge gained from the NORLI experience, these individuals should become even more involved as community leaders in the future,” said John Little, Director of Operations at International Matex Tank Terminals and Chairman of NORLI.
Chosen candidates come from a variety of backgrounds and are expected to utilize their leadership abilities for the long-term benefit of the Greater New Orleans region. The mission of the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI) is to help promote regionalism. NORLI provides current and emerging leaders with a more thorough understanding of issues and an enhanced ability to collaborate for the greater good of the community.
Each year the NORLI institute selects a diverse group of leaders to participate in a thought-provoking, nine-month educational program. Participants experience a variety of statewide issues presented through lectures, on-site visits, readings, discussion groups, simulations, and other leadership development activities. The Community Center is very honored that its Excutive Director was chosen to join the leadership professionals in the NORLI Class of 2013. Congratulations, Iray!
Free Services Available from the CCSTB
- Computers with internet access
- Food Pantry
- Clothing Bank
- Medicaid enrollment
- Food Stamps enrollment
- Fax send and receive
- Information and Referrals
- Beginners' Computer Classes
- Website Building Classes for Business Owners
- Income tax assistance (January-April)
- Financial literacy classes
- Performance space for local musicians and artists
- Space for neighborhood gatherings, community meetings and support groups
- Satellite office space for other agencies
- Dinner–dances, holiday celebrations, and other family–oriented gatherings