May newsletter 2019 What's Happening? James Storehouse Louisiana
Our First Annual Carnival was a great success.  
We had over 75 families join us despite the bad weather.  Of course we moved it inside, but with some great volunteers and determined carnival goers- It was a great time!  Thanks to all the businesses who sponsored us to make this happen.
Gilsbar-Skooters-Gulf Coast Bank & Trust-Resource Bank-First Baptist Church Covington-LeBlanc Pediatrics-Martha Jumonville Attorney-Ross Richardson
Update on Open Table!  We have 10 Groups interested in establishing tables, 3 are undergoing training, 1 is waiting for their youth assignment and 2 are now operating!!  Let the mentoring begin.
The Center continues to welcome visitations.  Both children and parents are enjoying meeting in a soothing, calming environment.  Caseworkers are observing much better outcomes from both parents and children during the visitations.  We have hosted several training sessions and meetings at the center including Discovery & Renew Family Resource Project meetings, Mental Health Aid, Open Table Meetings and Visitations.

We have been involved in several events this spring.  We were chosen to be a recipient of the ForeKids Foundation with the Zurich Classic in April.  It was a beautiful day and we were so thankful for the volunteers that came out to help us with that.
We were also the recipient for the proceeds of a crawfish cook-off that was put on by ZoomTech Automotive.  Although the weather did not cooperate with us that day, we still had some of our die hard volunteers come out for this event and had some great crawfish!!

Kim Bigler recently spoke at the National Quality Parenting Initiative Conference in Philadelphia.  Along with government officials, civic and thought leaders came together to discuss how to mobilize the community in order to prepare and empower our youth.  They discussed the importance in reforming the way they support these youth, understanding that these youth are not problems to be solved but people to empower.
Kim also attended the BCBS of LA Foundation 1st annual convening in Baton Rouge.  There response to Open Table was positive and reassuring across the board.  Community Connection is number 1 and engaging the community is key for lasting loving relationships.  Providing resources for these children are extremely important but coming alongside them through relationships are so much better.  
Engagement with these youth and relationship can change the trajectory of a youths life.  For example, along with a financial sponsor,  we have "adopted" an aged out youth and her child to walk with her through life's challenges and triumphs.  We have helped her during her pregnancy by giving her resources and being there for her during this time.  We helped furnish her apartment, helped her with transportation and are now helping her attain goals for her future college walk.  
We have also helped a child who was recently in the hospital get the help he needed to transfer to another state.  We also provided him with gifts to make the transition easier and sharing contacts and resources to help the new home sustain his needs.
For one other youth who is completely on his own with no adult support, we helped by supplying him his dormitory fees, walking with him through difficult choices that had to be made and continuing to be a support system through his transition from high school to college..  
Big things continue to happen and we are so thankful to our community for all the help.