Stories of Change


Volunteers of America works to make a genuine difference in the lives of people in greatest need in our communities.

Volunteers of America touched over 63,000 people in Greater New Orleans last year. Our goal is to transform lives for the better, and we are often successful. We share these stories of change with you so that you can share in the joy and accomplishments of our consumers and in the pride that we feel as their coaches. Many of these stories also feature volunteers who make so much of our work possible. Stories of change illustrate how Volunteers of America helps people make vital changes that improve their lives and improve the community. These stories are all true.

Share Your Story of Change

Resources for This Section

  • Victoria: A Lighthouse Story
    Victoria was an unmotivated 7th grader on the verge of failure until the added support she received from the Lighthouse After-School Program turned her attitude and academics around.
  • Kayla - Mentoring Children of Promise Story
    Kayla felt lost with her father serving time in prison. Once Brenda came into her life as her mentor, Kayla's spirit has been renewed.
  • Wilson: A Supported Living Services Story
    Wilson is incredibly smart but due to Autism has difficulties completing everyday tasks and interacting with others. He navigates life with the help of his Personal Care Assistant, Courtney.
  • Roosevelt: A Veterans Story
    Roosevelt had hit rock bottom when he ended up in the Veterans Transitional Facility. But he took advantage of everything Volunteers of America has to offer and pulled himself out of despair.
  • Shelby: A Veteran's Story
    Shelby, a veteran and native of New Orleans, wanted to turn his life around. Veterans Transitional Housing provided him with stability he needed to make a new start and he's now well on his way to a college degree.
  • Lloyd: A Single Room Occupancy Story
    Lloyd faced many challenges as a young man, including substance abuse and a bullet to his neck. When he decided to change his life, Lloyd became a resident of a Single Room Occupancy facility, where he thrived and eventually became an employee.
  • Hank: A Supported Living Services Story
    Hank spent the first half of his life living in a state school for people with developmental disabilities where he had few opportunities and was bored. Today, with the help of various Volunteers of America services, he has a job and lives on his own.
  • Saints and Senator Promote Adoption: A Volunteer Story
    New Orleans Saints and Sen. Mary Landrieu help Volunteers of America promote foster care adoption through a new TV message and more.
  • Katrina: During and After Photos
    Hurricane Katrina hit Volunteers of America of Greater New Orleans hard. Twenty of our properties, including our Canal Street headquarters, had anywhere from three to 10 feet of standing water for about three weeks.
  • Our Evacuation Story
    In the New Orleans area, we have spent much time telling and hearing stories about how we coped with Hurricane Katrina. Here is Volunteers of America of Greater New Orleans’ story, told by President and CEO Jim LeBlanc. It is a story of survival and gratitude, which shows how deeply God blessed us during this catastrophe by placing so many new friends and supporters in our path to light the way.
  • George: A Mentoring Story
    George is one of many volunteers who enjoy mentoring children of incarcerated parents in our Mentoring Children of Promise Program.
  • Brittney: A Community Living Services Story
    Brittney has lived in a community home for children with disabilities since 2001. This year she is excited to graduate from high school and begin courses at University of New Orleans.
  • Law Firm Celebrates Anniversary: A Volunteer Story
    Employees from the Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr and Smith celebrated the law firm’s 25th anniversary with a volunteer work day at four Volunteers of America community homes for persons with disabilities and veterans.
  • Matthew: A Single Room Occupancy Story
    Matthew says persons in recovery need their own space and an environment that supports sobriety. The Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Facility supplies both.
  • Joshua: A Lighthouse Story
    Positive outcomes are delivered daily in Volunteers of America's Lighthouse program, which helps at-risk youth succeed. Children like Joshua, who seemed a lost cause, need a little extra help and attention.
  • Kevin and Shawn: A Mentoring Story
    Kevin, described as a troubled youth with a heart of gold, has relatives in prison. His chances of following in their footsteps was high until he met Deputy Sheriff Shawn, his new friend and mentor.
  • Spring Break Youth Serve: A Volunteer Story
    A group of high schoolers from Arkansas completed a service project at Volunteers of America. This group is part of the Alternative Spring Break movement, in which young people use their semester break to do community service projects.
  • Mona: A Supported Living Services Story
    Mona, a member of Supportive Living Services, is living proof that persons with disabilities can not only get by, but flourish.
  • Food Drive for Health Services Support: A Volunteer Story
    The Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans Health Services Support Program team poses with a car full of food donations from residents of The Creeks of River Ridge apartment community.
  • Ms. Minnie: A Repairs on Wheels Story
    Ms. Minnie received necessary home repairs to lower her utility bill from Repairs on Wheels. At the time, she was facing a difficult decision between paying her utility bill and buying her medications.
  • Willie: A Supported Living Services Story
    Willie, a client of Volunteers of America’s Supported Living Services, was our first client with developmental disabilities to own his home. His determination continued to shine as he rebuilt his home after Katrina.
  • Joshua and Jordan: An Adoption Story
    Joshua and Jordan are now old enough to join their parents in a foursome at the GolfStar Classic, which allows them to support other families who would like to grow through adoption.
  • Christmas Gifts Honor Veterans: A Volunteer Story
    SAME (Society of Military Engineers) delivered customized gifts of new clothing to 64 men at our Veterans Transitional Housing Program.
  • Mentor Loses All In Storm: A Volunteer Story
    Though Betty Irving lost all in the storm, she still finds time to mentor. Irving is a volunteer in our Mentoring Children of Promise program, which reaches out to youngsters with incarcerated parents.
  • RSVP Honored: A Volunteer Story
    Volunteers of America honored volunteers from RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) on the Northshore with a luncheon on April 12.