Charities still help the poor despite storm victims' needs - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Charities still help the poor despite storm victims' needs


New Orleans, La. -- Even though many local charities recently helped thousands of Hurricane Isaac victims, some were still able to help the poor with Thanksgiving necessities.

"And certainly the recession and Isaac have hurt the Greater New Orleans area. What I'm always impressed with it... seems like there's always enough food that comes in," said Shannon Murphy, director of volunteers for Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Murphy said community donors continue to step up in the face of a growing need to assist the poor and needy.

"We had over 120 baskets that were delivered.  We had some nice additions this year at the last minute. The House of Blues gave us 16 turkeys yesterday.  Holy Cross School, which we thought we were going to get six baskets from, we got 20 baskets," said Murphy.

"Some individuals don't like turkey.  I've got chicken, I'm doing potato salad, I'm having gravy, we're having pumpkin pie," said Michael Lomax as he moved about his kitchen.

Lomax is program director of the Ciara Permanent Housing Program.  Before holidays he can often be found cooking up a multi-course meal for clients in Catholic Charities' various programs.

"I cooked as a kid when I was going to Dillard [University], and I had little jobs around like that, short order cook jobs or whatever," Lomax said.

He relishes the joy his meals bring.  "That wasn't in my job title but cooking is a passion, and when you see somebody, smile on somebody's face and they say, 'How did you make that, Mr. Mike?"  I really am doing the same requests from last year," he said.

Catholic Charities has adult volunteer days on December 1 and December 8.

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