Current Events 


The New Orleans ALA Chapter was honored to participate in the family dinner program again this year at our local Ronald McDonald House to prepare meals for 20 of its house guests.  Ronald McDonald House provides a “home away from home” to the families of seriously ill children as well as programs such as this so that all time and energy is spent focusing on the comfort and care of their critically sick child.  On September 19th, our chapter members donated a total of $205 for the groceries and supplies that were needed at the general membership luncheon held at Metairie Country Club. Although there had been inclement weather resulting in flooding and power outages, our Chapter President, Vickie Generose and Community Connection Chair, Shanon Chehardy shopped for supplies and met Julie Merritt and her son, Aiden, at Ronald McDonald House in New Orleans on Saturday October 26th where they spent the afternoon cooking several entrees and desserts for the families.  They prepared baked ziti, salad, rolls, and chocolate chip cookies.  The families and Ronald McDonald House expressed deep gratitude for our chapter’s donation of home-cooked meals and the volunteers who prepared them. 


In August 2019, the New Orleans ALA Chapter resumed an ongoing drive to collect children’s books for the “Reach Out and Read,” program which is celebrated its 30th year! Thus far, our members and Business Partners have donated over 200 books through December 2019.  All books are donated to Daughters of Charity Healthcare Services who distributes them to children from infants to age five (5) who are “prescribed” an age appropriate book after each well-visit appointment.  All children books that are donated for children over six years old, are given respectively, to CASA Jefferson and Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana.

past Events 


This year, our Operation Backpack drive will support Volunteers of America's Mentoring Children of Promise Program!  This program matches caring adults with youth who have a parent who is incarcerated. They serve more than 130 students in the Greater New Orleans area; Louisiana is second in the nation for the most number of people incarcerated per capita and our children are suffering. We will be donating items using an Amazon Smile wishlist where individual firms can go online, select items to deliver to Volunteers of America, and check out through Amazon. When all of the items are received for all 132 kids, we will arrange a backpack build where we will prepare each bag for the students based on their age and grade, and then we will present the backpacks to children in the Mentoring program before school starts in the fall.


In August, 2018, the ALA New Orleans Chapter will participate in the Ronald McDonald House Dinner Preparation for the families of and the children who are seeking treatment at local hospitals in New Orleans for cancer and other catastrophic medical conditions.  In the Ronald McDonald House kitchen, some of our members will get together and prepare a large home-cooked meal for families to enjoy when they return from their children's medical procedures and treatments.  The ALA New Orleans Chapter has participated in this program in the past and were heartened by the families sincere appreciation in knowing that “what’s for dinner” was one less thing they had to think about.


Daughters of Charity Health Services WIC Program 

The ALA New Orleans Chapter partnered with its Business Partners in September, 2017 for a Diaper Drive to benefit the families being serviced through The Daughters of Charity Health Services WIC Program in New Orleans.  Over 50 diapers were donated by members and Business Partners at the annual Business Partner Appreciation event at Brisbi's Restaurant on the Lakefront.  The diapers collected were given to 25 families to support of one of the greatest and most expensive needs for a newborn. 


In July, 2017, the ALA New Orleans Chapter participated in the Ronald McDonald House Dinner Preparation for children who are being treated at local hospitals in New Orleans for cancer and other catastrophic medical conditions.  A large home-cooked meal, including roast, potatoes, carrots, macaroni & cheese, cauliflower & brocolli casserole and a chicken spaghetti casserole, was cooked in the kitchen at the Ronald McDonald House for families to enjoy when they returned from their children's treatments.  It was a very rewarding experience to lessen the burden on families who need to be with their children in these tough situations.

Reach Out and Read

In April of 2016, the ALA New Orleans Chapter began an ongoing children’s book drive for the Reach Out and Read program in New Orleans, which gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read’s evidence-based, three-part model into regular pediatric checkups:

• Trained doctors and nurses speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud, starting in infancy.

• At each regular checkup from 6 months through 5 years of age, the child receives a new book to take home.

• Many Reach Out and Read program sites create literacy-rich environments that include gently-used books for waiting room use and/or volunteer readers to model for parents the techniques of reading aloud to young children.

As a result of this three-part intervention at the doctor’s office, parents become more engaged and read to their children more often at home. Our evidence base of 16 peer-reviewed research studies shows that during the preschool years, children served by Reach Out and Read score three to six months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary tests. These early foundational language skills help propel children on a path of success when they enter school.
Our Members and Business Partners donated over 250 books through December 2016.  All books were donated to the Daughters of Charity of New Orleans and the recipients were children seen by physicians at Tulane, Ochsner and the LSU Medical Center health care clinics that service our community members with the most need.

Shanon Chehardy and Linda Soileau, Co-Chairs of the Community Connections Committee, would like to thank everyone who participated in this worthwhile book drive to further the education of our beloved children in New Orleans!

Shanon Chehardy & Linda Soileau Community Connections Co-Chairs

Community Drive for MetropoliTan Center for Women and Children

ALA New Orleans, together with ALA International, is teamed up with Metropolitan Center for Women and Children for a community project. The Metropolitan Center services victims fleeing violence in the home by offering a transition shelter and resources to assist in breaking the cycle of violence. The Center is primarily funded through state, federal and local grant monies, as well as donations of clothing, food, personal care and household items.

The Center provides “We Care Bags” to each new resident that enters the shelter. We were able to assist by supplying several hundred items needed to fill these bags.  In addition to the personal hygiene times supplied by our members, we helped the Metropolitan raise over $700.     Community Challenge BLC 2015

Edible Schoolyard NOLA

Our Edible Schoolyard Volunteer Day at Clark High School will provide a community service to help revamp the courtyard garden. This space currently includes edible fruits, herbs and ornamentals and is the heart of the school. Students at Clark learn culinary and agricultural skills and the concept provides a source of healthy meal education to school cafeteria programs. Spring Date TBA soon!

Eden House partnership

The New Orleans Chapter is pleased to announce that our first ALA Community Connections project of 2015 was a “Household Drive” for Eden House! We asked each Firm to collect the items from the “Wish List”.  Monetary donations were received as well.

Volunteers of America’s Operation Backpack – Lighthouse Afterschool Program

Through Volunteers of America‘s Operation Backpack® program, we can provide these children with a chance to succeed in life. The program provides school supplies and backpacks to children in need across the country and helps to fund Volunteers of America sponsored after-school and mentoring programs and services for at-risk youth. It’s estimated to cost between $50-$70 to fill one backpack for a 4th grader with the basic supplies needed this school year, a cost many struggling families simply can’t afford. In fact, thousands of homeless children go back to school without the basic supplies they need. Many of them are homeless, living in foster care, or come from families that are barely managing to keep body and soul together in these difficult times. Operation Backpack will begin in July, 2015 with a Kids Shopping Day to follow sometime in September, 2015. Stay tuned for more details!

CASA Jefferson – Holiday Toy Drive

To continue our good work with CASA Jefferson, we will host a toy drive during the Holidays for the many children supported by this wonderful organization. More details to follow!