Tag Archives: kids

David and Ashley’s Adoption Love Story


Like many couples in love, David and Ashley married and wanted to start a family.

When they realized getting pregnant was not possible, they made the decision to explore adoption with Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans. Five days before Christmas 2015, David and Ashley lovingly welcomed their son Beckett Christian to their family; it’s a holiday they will cherish forever.

An adopted child herself, Ashley says that God led her and her husband to Volunteers of America and to their angel on earth – the Adoption Program’s social worker who shared the incredible three-year journey with them. They are especially thankful to Beckett’s birth mother for her selfless act of love and for turning to Volunteers of America for assistance with her unplanned pregnancy.

“Porgy” Debuts July 21

Students in Volunteers of America’s Lighthouse Summer School Program will be appearing in the DuBose Heyward play “Porgy” at Dillard University’s Cook Performing Arts Center July 21-23.  Students participating in the production are from the charter schools Lighthouse serves (Medard Nelson Charter School, Thurgood Marshall Early College High School, Pierre Capdau Charter School, and Gentilly Terrace Elementary).

This year Lighthouse is teaming with Dillard University Theatre, Tulane University Department of Dance and Theatre, and the New Orleans Recreation Department to host the 2nd annual Introduction to Professional Theater Summer Camp.  Held June 6th through July 29th, this eight week class provides free theater training and experience to New Orleans area youth, ages 8-18.  “Porgy” will be the culminating project of the theater camp.

The New Orleans Opera opened its 2010-2011 season with George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. “Porgy” is the precursor to the Gershwin opera.  “Porgy” was written by DuBose Heyward in 1925.  The story takes place in the black tenements of Charleston, South Carolina in the 1920s and focuses on the life of a crippled beggar named Porgy and his love for Bess.   “Porgy” was the first Broadway production to depict a realistic version of black life.  The play opened on Broadway in 1927 and was a great success, running for 367 performances.  This is the first time “Porgy” has been performed in New Orleans.

The Professional Theatre Summer Camp continues Lighthouse’s mission to provide character-building, academic support, and cultural enrichment for at-risk youth in New Orleans.

“Porgy” will be presented at the Samuel DuBois Cook Performing Arts Center at Dillard University on Thursday, July 21 through Saturday, July 23 at 8:00 p.m.  Two matinees will be presented for the benefit of summer youth programs.  Ticket prices are $17.50 for the general public, $12.50 for seniors and students.  Summer Camp Kids matinee tickets are $5.00 for students and their escorts.  Samuel DuBois Cook Performing Arts Center is located at 2601 Gentilly Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70122.

For more information please call director Ed Bishop at (504) 459-9445, or the Samuel DuBois Cook Performing Arts Center at (504) 816-4857.

Adoption and Maternity Services on WWL

This morning Lori Arceneaux was featured on WWL with Sally-Ann Roberts. Lori is the Program Coordinator of Volunteers of America’s Adoption and Maternity program. Volunteers of America began operating maternity homes in 1915 and was one of the first adoption agencies to become licensed in the state of Louisiana in the late 1940s. Over the last several decades this program has been helping to unite families in the New Orleans area. Read more below…

Read more here:

Sally-Ann invited Lori and two adoptive parents to talk about their experience with Volunteers of America’s adoption services. When Jennifer and Neal found out they couldn’t have children naturally, they turned to Volunteers of America to help them adopt a child. They were ecstatic that the adoption process went smoothly and were relieved to have Lori there to help them through each step. When they adopted their son at 3 weeks old, it felt natural and bonding came instantly. Volunteers of America promotes openness in adoption but supports the birth mother in what’s best for her. As Lori explains, “We’re there to provide counseling and support to all members of the adoption triad: composed of  adoptive parents, birth parents, and adopted child. Serving since the 1900’s provides stability to help throughout a child’s life. It’s very common that we receive calls long after the adoption for help or support and we’re here for as long as people need us to assist them.”

Volunteers of America has also partnered with the Dave Thomas Foundation’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program that seeks to find loving, permanent homes for both younger and older children in foster care. Lori wants people to know that “facing infertility and struggling to create their family doesn’t have to end in not having a child. There are lots of options out there.” To find out more about Volunteers of America’s Adoption Services call Lori Arceneaux at (504) 836-8714 or e-mail larceneaux@voagno.org.  For more information from our website, click here.

Lighthouse Play Featured on WGNO!

Volunteers of America’s Lighthouse Program was recently showcased on WGNO. Some of the students participated in a performance of “The Wiz”, which ran from 7/31-8/1 at Dillard University. WGNO’s Chriss Knight covered the event for her morning news segment. Check out this video below to see our Lighthouse kids talk about putting together the play.

The Lighthouse After School program provides after school and summer programs for pre-adolescent children and their families to promote academic achievement and good moral character.