The guest speaker at Wednesday’s Rotary lunch was Volunteers of America’s President and CEO, Carolyn Hammond. Ms. Hammond told the club that V.O.A. was founded in 1896 in New York City and the Shreveport, La. offices opened in 1935. The V.O.A. is actually a self-sufficient church and the Shreveport branch serves all of North Louisiana. They are currently helping over 8000 people and have 375 employees.
Areas of concern are children’s mental health, Veteran’s with disabilities, and homeless adults. DeSoto Parish is one of their largest Parishes and V.O.A. has a consultant at each campus. These counselors help children with behavioral problems, mental health issues, and challenges that hinder school attendance. Carolyn says that many times all the children need to hear are, “It’s okay to not be okay.” She shared an inspiring story about a local child that had benefited from the V.O.A. work and is a successful professional now.
You can reach the V.O.A. in Shreveport phone 318-221-2669 and website voanorthla.org.
The next Rotary meeting is 5/10/23 at the Genealogical Library in the Mansfield Female College for lunch. We would love to have you join us!