Monday, August 25, 2008

a tour like no other....

Unique eBay auction to benefit the Community Center of St Bernard

When it comes to raising awareness about the true state of the Gulf Coast recovery effort on the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Community Center of St Bernard in Arabi, Louisiana is taking a creative approach. This 501c3 nonprofit organization is currently running an eBay auction where the lucky winner will receive a personal tour of New Orleans from the vantage point of a motorcycle sidecar operated by Iray Nabatoff, a long-term volunteer who serves as the Community Center's Executive Director.

It's a light-hearted approach that hides a deeper purpose. "Every day you see the devastation all around you, a full 3 years after the hurricane. And you wonder what you can do to make people aware of the situation here" notes Mr. Nabatoff.
During January - June 2008, the Community Center of St Bernard distributed 111,265 lbs of free food to 2,990 low-income residents. During the last quarter the Center served 1,534 free hot meals, made 601 referrals and distributed 5,592 flyers to help clients to find the specific services and resources they need. In June 2008 alone, the Community Center's public computer lab was used 580 times, and 116 applications for Food Stamps were processed at their facility. And every week, the Center continues to provide free clothes to more than 200 families. These numbers are an eloquent testimony to the overwhelming need that still exists in St Bernard Parish, 3 years after Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005.

"There remains so much to be done here -- for many of the clients we serve, this is NOT a recovery but merely a later stage in an ongoing crisis," states Mr Nabatoff. "Though numerous celebrities and aspiring politicians, includingOprah, Amy Goodman and Brad Pitt, have come to New Orleans, they don't venture beyond the Lower Ninth Ward, so they remain in the dark about the lives and struggles of the people in St Bernard directly next door, separated only by the Jackson Barracks. We hope that this eBay auction will help generate awareness about St Bernard Parish, and we encourage everyone to view the auction and spread word about it, even if it isn't practical for them to bid."

To view the eBay auction, which ends September 1, please visitsidecartour
And for more information about the recovery effort in St Bernard Parish and the work of the Community Center of St Bernard, please or phone 504-281-2512.

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Contact information: Iray Nabatoff, Executive Director, Community Center of St Bernard, 1107 LeBeau St, Arabi, LA 70032, 504-281-2512,

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