Leadership Ascension helps make improvements to The Arc

Darian Graivshark
Carrie LeBlanc and Michelle Helfrich paint the walls inside the Respite Center.

One group from 2019 Leadership Ascension helps make improvements to The Arc Respite Center for their group project.

Located on Purpera Avenue in Gonzales, the Respite Center for The Arc of East Ascension is an eight bedroom facility with 24-hour supervision, assistance, and support from trained staff, allowing parents of children with disabilities, or caregivers to take a break or a period of rest.

"We're giving a facelift to the center so the individuals that come here feel more comfortable when they stay," Carrie LeBlanc, President of the project group, said.

A few of the duties they will be completing include repainting both the interior and exterior, providing maintenance to the landscape, and general necessities like a washer, dryer, and microwave, among many other items.

The group raises money for the project through corporate donations and donations from the community. One way they are raising money includes a jambalaya fundraiser. Each plate will include jambalaya, beans, a roll and dessert. Jambalaya will be donated by the Jambalaya Festival Association. Orders must be submitted by February 25 via email to carrie@brotherscorrectionalservices.com.

Each ticket is ten dollars, and cash or checks are accepted. Checks should be made out to Leadership Ascension Fund. Plates will be handed out at the Chamber of Commerce at 1006 Louisiana 30 W in Gonzales between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pick-up date is Thursday, February 28. Money raised from this fundraiser will go back into improving the Respite Center.

"Our hope is, after making these improvements, that it will create more membership participation and creation," LeBlanc said. "We also hope that it helps to add more employees that can work at the center."

The group got inspiration to make their Leadership Ascension project focused on the Respite Center after hearing the need for it from Sharon Morris of The Arc of East Ascension. It was something they didn't even need to think about, they just knew they wanted to help.

Those that are involved in the project take time out of their regularly scheduled work days, or life, to help make these improvements. It is something they do on their own time and out of the kindness of their hearts. They want to be sure that people have a place to come to relax and recuperate.

Follow Darian on Twitter @dariangshark.