Banks, Giarrusso set up food distribution sites

District A Councilman Joe Giarrusso and District B Councilman Jay Banks are holding weekly food distribution events for those who find themselves in financial straits because of the pandemic. Giarrusso is teaming up with state Rep. Mandie Landry, District 91, and Second Harvest Food Bank to give out food on Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon in front of the Notre Dame Seminary Graduate School at 2901 S. Carrollton Ave. To sign up to volunteer or to get more information, contact

The District B food giveaway is hosted by Banks with assistance from Goodwill Industries, Second Harvest Food Bank, Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, BOLD (Black Organization for Leadership Development) and Culture Aid NOLA. It’s held at the Goodwill store at Tulane Avenue and Jefferson Davis Parkway on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until supplies run out. For more information or to volunteer, call 504-658-1020.

We'll Be Right Back: New Orleans Hospitality

‘We’ll Be Right Back’: Financial relief, policy discussions for night-life economy

We’ll Be Right Back is a homegrown podcast that shares the stories of local business owners and employees in the service sector and gig economy at-large. Host Greg Tilton interviews professionals and organizations that provide relief and resources that help the industry manage through COVID-19. This series highlights the work, status and future of the hospitality industry in New Orleans. This week’s episode: “Night Life Policy” with Mark Schettler of Bar Tonique

Schettler and Tilton share the types financial relief available to small businesses, how the industry should work together and get involved in policy discussions, and how to solve a potential rent crisis on the horizon. Uptown Messenger supports media efforts and exposure to voices like these.

Beneficiary of Tyler Perry’s random act of kindness keeps paying it forward

When 61-year-old Lori Golden Freehling entered the Winn-Dixie on Tchoupitoulas Street on Wednesday morning, a store worker handed her a piece of paper that said “Random Act of Kindness” on it. She assumed it was some kind of promotion to show appreciation for store employees. But when she checked out her groceries, the cashier asked her, “Do you know who Tyler Perry is?”

Golden Freehling said of course – Tyler Perry is the multimillionaire creator of the mega-hit “Madea” movie franchise, and a New Orleans native. “She looked at me with this big smile and said, ‘Well, he just bought your groceries,’” Freehling said. Freehling wasn’t the only person to benefit from the star’s generosity.

Volunteers needed for meal delivery to senior citizens, chronically ill residents

Beginning Monday (March 30), Hands On New Orleans, in partnership with World Central Kitchen, is launching the Serving Seniors Program to provide free meal delivery service to home-bound, low-income seniors and chronically ill residents, who are at a greater risk of severe illness if exposed to the coronavirus. And they need volunteers. Volunteer drivers are needed to pick up and deliver meals to the doorsteps of seniors who have signed up on Monday and Thursday each week from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. Hands On will coordinate a central pick up point and give volunteers their assignment. Each driver will deliver to five to six households in the same ZIP code. Volunteers need to be healthy and have a vehicle.

Where to recycle your Mardi Gras beads

If you went to even one parade this past Carnival season, you probably have a pile of beads in your house right now. Even if you didn’t, a bag of beads may be lurking in a closet or in the attic. That means you’ve done your part to keep beads off the streets and out of the drainage system during the parades. Now is the time — unless you haven’t had enough of the glue gun and are planning an art project — to recycle the colorful strands that were so much fun to catch. Most bead recycling in the region is through nonprofit organizations that provide jobs to disabled adults, who clean and sort the throws so they can be sold to float riders for the next season.

Merrymakers wanted for the B’nai B’rith Mardi Gras Mitzva Makers Hospital Parade


Heralding the Uptown parade season, the B’nai B’rith Mardi Gras Mitzva Makers will parade through local hospitals on Sunday, Feb. 2. For the 41st year, the Mitzva (Good Deed) Makers will gather at 9:30 a.m. at the Prytania Street entrance to Touro Infirmary Hospital to parade through the long-term care and rehabilitation centers, bringing the Mardi Gras experience to those not able to attend the festivities otherwise. The volunteer krewe of musicians and maskers also proceeds to nearby long-term care facility Curahealth Hospital on Coliseum Street and assisted-living facility Homelife in the Gardens on Aline Street. All are welcome to join this second-line parade by showing up in costume and with throws and an instrument, if you play, for the second-line band led by trumpeter and dentist Hilton Title.

Volunteers needed for Hoffman Triangle Community Clean Up on Saturday

Volunteers are needed to join Hoffman Triangle residents and representatives from the city, businesses and churches for a Community Clean Up on Saturday, Jan. 18. Volunteers will be helping Hoffman Triangle neighbors from 9 a.m. to noon. Check-in is at 8:30 a.m. at Taylor Playground, 2600 S. Roman St., and from there neighborhood leaders will guide volunteers along the streets to clean. The event includes a resource fair where residents will have the opportunity to interact with several city departments.

‘Tunes for Toys’ benefits Trombone Shorty’s toy drive (Photos)

On Thursday, Dec. 19, Gia Maione Prima Foundation and J.P. Morgan Chase presented “Tunes for Toys” at Tipitina’s. For the price of one unwrapped toy, fans could see the Trombone Shorty Academy band, New Breed Brass Band and Hot 8 Brass Band. All of the toys collected were donated to Trombone Shorty’s toy giveaway, Toys from Troy, at his alma mater, Warren Easton High School. The toys will be given away at Warren Easton today in an event hosted by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and featuring Santa Claus as well as the Trombone Shorty Academy players.

Danae Columbus: YWCA hosts Role Model Reunion to help fund rebuilding

“We’re on a mission to rebuild our programs and physical structure,” said Dr. Shelia J. Webb, president-elect of the Young Women’s Christian Association in New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures decimated the YWCA building at 601 S. Jefferson Davis Parkway and forced a 14-year interruption of an agency that had been an integral part of New Orleans for almost a century. Under the leadership of current President Loyce Pierce Wright and a multi-generational group of volunteers, including judges Terri Love and Bernadette D’Sousa, the YWCA’s Legacy Circle will host a reunion of former Y Role Models on Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Holiday Inn New Orleans–Downtown Superdome, 330 Loyola Ave. Former New Orleans First Lady Sybil Morial and former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, both 1989 Role Models, are co-chairing the event, which will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Proceeds will be dedicated to the agency’s rebuilding campaign.