• WOMEN & CHILDREN’S SHELTER GRANT: New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter is among 20 nonprofits awarded $50,000 Angels of Change grants from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. The annual Angel Awards program highlights individuals who are improving the quality of life for Louisiana’s children. Jackie Silverman received the 2014 Angel Award for her work with the New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter and nominated the shelter’s innovative case management program as an outstanding program worthy of recognition and support, said Michael Tipton, president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. “The shelter is finding new and innovative ways to help homeless kids in New Orleans, and we are proud to highlight and support the great work they are doing.” Since 1995, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation has recognized more than 160 individuals with the annual Angel Award and provided more than $1.8 million to their associated organizations. A panel of child welfare advocates met in August to select the 20 Angels of Change grant recipients for 2015. “Children are the most vulnerable homeless population, and we are determined to meet the needs of every child that comes through our shelter’s doors,” said Dawn Bradley-Fletcher, executive director of the New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter.
  • RIVER PARISHES CONCERT: The Community Chorus of River Parishes will perform its holiday concerts, “Christmas Radio Favorites,” at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, at St. Charles United Methodist Church, 1905 Ormond Blvd., Destrehan, and at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at New Life Community Church, 134 Lakewood Drive, Luling. Free, but donations will be accepted.
  • MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY FUNDRAISER: Knights of Columbus Council 9623 at Ascension of Our Lord Church will be serving jambalaya and white beans from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, as a fundraiser for Dominic Hoffman, 10, a student at Ascension of Our Lord School. The money will go toward an electric wheelchair and disability transport van for Hoffman, who has muscular dystrophy. The fundraiser will be at the school, 1809 Greenwood Drive, LaPlace. Donations may be mailed to Knights of Columbus 9623, P.O. Box 1208, LaPlace, LA 70069.
  • HELP FOR WRECK VICTIM: A gofundme.com account has been set up in the name of New Orleans Police Department Sgt. Mike Marziale, who was critically injured in a single-car accident Nov. 25 on Richland Avenue in Metairie. Money raised through the account will be used to help with medical costs related to his recovery. A week after the accident, he remained in intensive care at University Medical Center.
  • LATIN JAZZ FEST: Casa Borrega, a Mexican restaurant and Latin cultural center, will hold a Latin Jazz Fest from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Dec. 11, at the People’s Health New Orleans Jazz Market, 1426 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. The bands will be Muevelo at 7 p.m. (Brent Rose, Margie Perez, Rik Fletcher, Gabriel Velasco, Eric Lucero and Alexey Marti), Javier Gutierrez with Vivaz at 8:45 p.m. (Josh Reppel and Austin Johnson from New Orleans, Abdel Jarquin from Nicaragua and Fernando Lima from Brazil) and Alexis Guevara’s Afro Cuban Trio with Yulene Velasquez and Hector Gallardo at 10:30 p.m. The festival, in its fifth year, is adding a multinational ensemble of dancers who will perform throughout the evening. Dancers include Julia Stewart, Natalia Rostovshikova, Tatyana Borisova, Melinda Morris, Myra Corrello, Caren Wallis, Jason Gross and Gabriel Cavallini, with choreography by Jamilah Peters-Muhammad. Food from Casa Borrega will be sold outside at a food truck and Latin cocktails will be available at the Bolden Bar. Tickets are $22.09 at www.eventbrite.com.
  • ANGEL TREE: The Salvation Army of Greater New Orleans is presenting its Angel Tree and Mr. Bingle Silver Bell adoption program through Dec. 12 inside Dillard’s at Lakeside Mall, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie. The programs allow needy children and seniors in five parishes to experience the joy of Christmas. The program provided gifts to more than 3,000 children last year.
  • GREATER NEW ORLEANS FOUNDATION: Impact 100, a women’s giving circle administered by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, has awarded a $100,000 grant to Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans. CIS works to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school by bringing caring adults into schools to address children’s unmet needs. CIS links public school students and their families with resources in the community. Sara Massey, president of Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans, said the grant would allow the organization to serve 700 more students through partnerships with two schools. It currently provides case management to 2,000 public school students in 17 schools with a site coordinator inside each school who assesses mental health, as well as physical, social and basic needs and delivers necessary resources. Four grant runners-up will receive $7,500; they are YAYA Arts Center, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, St. Thomas Community Health Center and Café Reconcile.
  • VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS: New Orleans Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8973 has received a donation of tablet computers from AT&T. The computers will aid returning veterans in their job searches and strengthen their digital literacy. “There are about 20 VFW posts across southeast Louisiana, but VFW Post 8973 is the only post in New Orleans,” said Marshall Hevron, VFW member and former Marine. “AT&T’s tablet donation and digital literacy training are important to our ongoing activities like resume-writing workshops, legal clinics, and seminars on navigating Veteran’s Administration claims.”
  • HOMES FOR FERAL CATS: The Louisiana Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is urgently seeking cat-friendly neighborhoods, barn homes or country locations to place sterilized feral cats as part of its Barn Cat Adoption Program. Feral cats are a part of nearly every New Orleans neighborhood, and managed, sterilized populations can provide benefits in the form of pest control to neighbors. The Louisiana SPCA works to mediate with neighbors to keep these cats in familiar territory, but when that isn’t possible, moving them to properties with shelter like barns or other outbuildings gives them a chance to live out their lives. All “barn cats” are spayed/neutered, vaccinated for rabies, feline leukemia and FIV, and heartworm-negative. Each cat is available free to qualified adopters. The LA/SPCA is seeking locations that can accept cats immediately, as well as locations that may be interested in the future. If you can provide a safe haven for these cats, please contact Louisiana SPCA’s Feral Cat Coordinator at (504) 762-3306 or heather@la-spca.org.
  • JPAS BENEFIT: Bella Ridge Apartments hosted its premier “Movies in the Sky” night, donating proceeds to the Jefferson Performing Arts Society. Drinks, popcorn, pizza and hay stacks were available for guests while watching “Hocus Pocus.” Members of the Jefferson Performing Arts Society, families, businesses and the public are invited to attend. “1st Lake Properties allows for different activities at our apartment communities to bring awareness to social needs,” said Brandi Milliet, regional vice president for Bella Ridge Apartments.
  • PROVENCE TRIP: Alliance Française is organizing a trip to Provence, France from June 8 to June 19, 2016. The trip will be led by Nola Doubloon, a New Orleans-based history and heritage tour company. The cost is $3,900 per person in a double room and $4,350 per person in a single room, and includes round-trip airfare, 10 nights in a 3-star hotel in Avignon and more. The deadline to register is Dec. 23. For registration and questions, call (504) 491-2669.