On a day when the majority of students and workers are sleeping in and taking it easy, other outstanding individuals and groups devoted their Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday to service! 273 volunteers made their way to Chalmette National Cemetery of the Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve to engage in cemetery headstone cleaning, headstone realignment, and leaf raking. Of these 273 people, there were 20 groups ranging from local businesses like COX communications and Fidelity Bank to universities like UNO, LOYOLA, Tulane, Xavier, and Dillard.

The diversity and enthusiasm within this large community gathering was astounding! People, young and old, showed up bright eyed and bushy tailed at the cemetery superintendents lodge rearing to get to work. Later in the day, the skies opened up and gave us a drizzle, but that did not dampen the spirits of our volunteers. Working hard steadily throughout the day, our volunteers earned a total of 927 service hours!

I wanted to give a special thanks to the service event coordinators, SCA interns, and Jean Lafitte park rangers Gaynell Brady, Guy Hughes, Cam Amabile, Les, Jenna Rockett, Kim Samaniego (and myself).

I believe Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be proud of not only Jean Lafitte, but all of the community service projects held in his memory nationwide.

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Brianna Sims

SCA Community Volunteer Ambassador

Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve

“I AM NOLA” university group photo


Ready to get some work done!