Several years ago during the holidays I was invited to a party for which the invitation requested an unwrapped gift for Raintree Services. Unsure of what to bring, I decided to call the agency. As I soon learned, Raintree Services has three programs, all of which are dedicated to serving children and families in need. Raintree Family Foster Care helps find safe and loving homes for children who are in need of a foster family (a tall order, as there are currently 4,500 children in the state of Louisiana who need fostering). The Family Support Coordination program offers case management to families who have babies or toddlers with developmental disabilities. And then there’s Raintree House.
Raintree House is a residential program for girls between the ages of 10 to 17 who, having been removed from their families due to abuse or neglect, are in the foster care system. When these young girls arrive at Raintree House, they often do so with nothing but the clothes on their backs. As one would imagine, they’re scared, hungry and tired. More often than not they’re also in great need of a shower. And that leads me to my phone call. When I called to ask what would be a helpful donation to Raintree House, the response was swift and simple: bath towels. For many of these young girls, their first day at Raintree House is the first time they’re given a towel of their own.
As I was quickly realizing, this agency is very special. Wanting to know more, I did a bit of research. The first thing I found was a photograph of a beautiful young woman celebrating her college graduation. Reading her story, it became clear to me that Raintree had quite literally changed her life. By the time of her 16th birthday she had faced more challenges than some of us might face in a lifetime. Abandoned by her parents, she was thrust into the role of caretaker to her younger brothers and sisters.
Before she found her way to Raintree, her childhood had been taken away from her. It was Raintree Services that helped give it back. Now, against all odds, she’s a proud college graduate. This is just one of many agency success stories, each one more inspiring than the next.
Raintree is making a difference in the lives of hundreds of vulnerable young people. With the holidays upon us, please consider visiting RaintreeServices.org to find out how you can help this exceptional agency make a difference to children and families in need.
Heard something interesting for “making A difference?”
If so, please send it to: St. Charles Avenue,
110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005 or email with the subject line “Making A Difference” Morgan@MyNewOrleans.com