Tragedy, natural disasters and calamity in other forms have always underscored the fragility of mankind. During such times, we think of our loved ones and wonder “What if…?” Who champions for the lesser informed or those without resources to support and advocate for themselves? Volunteers and special advocates who commit to being of service to others make the difference in the lives of those persons who may otherwise suffer tragedy unassisted.

There is no greater gift than love. Rather than a celebration of the holiday season, this issue of Lagniappe celebrates the spirit of humanity. Here at Junior League New Orleans, we honor those people who open their hearts to the virtue of giving.

When Hurricane Ida ravished the Gulf Coast, Nashville Diaper Connection generously extended support in the donation and delivery of over 40,000 diapers to families in need. Organized by past Junior League of New Orleans president, Erin Bell, the diaper drive was a success! Lagniappe writer and assistant editor, Michelle Michler, provides details and interviews discussing this impassioned act of kindness. 

A global issue, human trafficking exploits tens of thousands of vulnerable children and adults each year, and the frequency of occurrences has continued to intensify in recent years. Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services reports that 58.6% of victims in this state are children aged 17 and under (dcfs.louisiana.gov). Three years ago, JLNO established a local extension of Junior League International’s Abolish movement. Founded by the Junior League of Tampa, Abolish is an effort which aims to raise public awareness and end the heinous act of human trafficking. Our league works fervently year-round to do its part in ending this terrible and inhumane crime. Volunteer Lagniappe contributor and JLNO member, Melissa Kenyon, discusses how Abolish has partnered with local social services organizations in the movement to decimate human trafficking.  

There is no better theme for the Winter 2021 issue of Lagniappe magazine than this: Humanity is strengthened by the kindness of strangers.

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Shanelle Joseph, 2021-2022 Lagniappe Editor