St. Bernard Parish – On October 22, businesses and community organizations came together to beautify and clean up St. Bernard Parish with 17 independent projects. The initiative, which started off as an idea for a community day of service by the St. Bernard Chamber’s Emerging Professional Council, quickly blossomed into a Parish wide effort once word began to spread. “Historically, St. Bernard Parish has always been a community of doers, and this endeavor seemed like the perfect opportunity to partner our private businesses with the residents they serve.” said Danielle Martin, the Chairwoman for the Emerging Professional Council. “Discussions were initiated between Parish Government, St. Bernard Swim Club, and several Leadership St. Bernard Alumni. We outlined our vision built around Enjoy St. Bernard, and we began outreach. From there, organizations choose projects that were of importance to them, but all with the common goal of the betterment our Parish.”
The effort, which built upon the Emerging Professional Council’s Katrina Day of Service last year, was timed to fall on Make a Difference Day, an initiative founded in 1992, and which
has grown into one the largest community service efforts in the nation. Through Give Back to St. Bernard Day, the Emerging Professional Council and its Partners hoped to create a grass roots approach to encouraging neighbors to help neighbors and create partnerships within the community. “It was a really a great opportunity for us to clean up Violet Park and give our kids a nicer place to play and enjoy some new trees,” said Carly Jackson. “We all want a clean and safe community, and setting aside time to volunteer on a day like this really makes a difference.”
With support and partnership from Domino Sugar and Renaissance Gardens, seven public projects were undertaken by groups including the Gathering, the Old Arabi Community Gardens, Arc, the Compassionate Friends of St. Bernard, Nunez Community College, and St. Bernard Swim Club. Additionally, 10 private projects were undertaken by the St. Bernard Voice, Pirogue’s Whiskey Bayou, St. Bernard Parish Hospital, Raising Cane’s, McDonald’s, Valero, St. Bernard Memorial Gardens, Fradella’s, Chalmette Refining, St. Bernard Department of Tourism, and St. Bernard Parish Government.