One of the wonderful things that's happened through Listen to Kids is the way local teenagers have shown compassion and sacrifice for less fortunate peers.
Just last week, a graduate (class of '21) from St. Martin's Episcopal School in Metairie got some of her friends together & staged a touch-free, delivery bake sale. Founder and former president of Cloaks & Dresses Club at St. Martin's, Clara came up with the idea of an Instagram bake sale last year during quarantine. Her club had planned a campus bake sale to raise money to buy new clothing for Listen to Kids just as schools were being shut down for COVID 19. Rather than cancel the project, Clara & club members figured out a way to create an online order form and deliver the baked goods. Cloaks & Dresses has hosted over four bake sales to benefit Listen to Kids in the past two years, and each is more successful than the last.
Last week, Clara and company raised over $380 for Listen to Kids. They baked, packaged & delivered 159 chocolate chip cookies, 27 lava cakes, 13 raspberry tarts, and 26 blue velvet cupcakes. Of course, fundraising is extremely helpful, but more importantly, these kinds of teen-driven events expand the Listen to Kids supporter base while increasing awareness in our community about abuse, neglect, and trafficking and the issues they cause.
In July, Shelby and friends (students at Ben Franklin High School), planned and hosted an awareness youth summit, which they called Learning the System. They advertised it and organized food, guest speakers, and even swag bags for participants. Sessions addressed domestic violence & sexual assault, police encounters, human trafficking, and mental health. Over 40 local high school kids participated. They were refreshingly engaged, asking questions and talking to individual speakers after each session. Their desire was palpable to learn more about preventing sexual assault, the definitions & repercussions of child abuse, ways that predators pursue & "groom" new victims, and especially ways to prevent and/or address these kinds of experiences in their lives and in the lives of friends or family.
What an impact just a handful of passionate teenagers can have on their community! And while teenagers in crisis or looking to prevent crisis may appreciate the help of adults, they absorb so much more from their peers. Thank you for your leadership Clara, Shelby, and all of your volunteers. You're making NOLA a better place for kids.
Check out photos of both events in our "Resources/Events" "Newsroom."