No matter how busy I am, there’s something about July that actually forces me to pause, reflect on the first half of the year and find time to just be still. Time to focus my thoughts and to reconsider what’s truly important. Perhaps it’s the heat physically slowing us down, but there is something magical about summer in the south. When I lived in New York there was nothing I missed more than summer rainstorms. The clapping of thunder and soothing sounds of drops hitting the window. As a child growing up in New Orleans and spending half my summers in Waveland, Mississippi, like clockwork I could count on the rain to swoop in daily around 3 p.m. This arrival meant it was time to head inside and curl up with a favorite book or movie. Dive into this issue for new insight on local nonprofits making a difference in countless lives and other great advice for savoring these fleeting, yet slow summer moments.

On our July cover we are honored to feature Ebony Hunter, a brave young girl battling a bone marrow disorder whose wish to visit New Orleans with her family was granted by Make-A-Wish Texas Gulf Coast and Louisiana. Read more about Ebony’s trip to New Orleans on pg. 38 and learn more about this truly incredible organization and how much they do for families to build hope throughout extremely difficult times. Each wish granted changes lives, not just for the recipients but for everyone involved. This summer, the organization will grant its 10,000th wish to a local child since its inception in 1984!

Sue Strachan spotlights Lynn Chiche, founder and president of SpayMart, an organization offering low-cost spay/neuter initiatives, access to veterinary care and adoption programs to eliminate the need for unnecessary euthanasia of animals in Southeast Louisiana. And our “Changemaker” for this month is Rashain Carriere Williams, Executive Director of Boys Town Louisiana. Boys Town was founded in 1989 and is an outstanding resource for at-risk children and families.

The nonprofits we cover rely heavily on donations but also volunteers, who are desperately needed. For information on how you can help each thrive, please visit their websites (listed in each article) to learn more.

July is the is the perfect time to reset and prioritize your skincare routine. Look to our feature on pg. 44 for advice from local industry experts on “summerizing your skincare” in addition to products that offer important protection for our body’s largest organ.
Need I say it again…it’s hot out there. Look to “What to Wear” and “What’s Hot” for summer fashion advice and tips for keeping your cool.

We have some exciting news coming your way in August. Stay tuned!

Until then, we hope you find a quiet moment to curl up with this issue during an afternoon rainstorm and enjoy soaking in all of the resources we’ve provided on these pages.