The Level Up Campaign (LUC) organization is to ensure the community have resources, skills, and access to a better life. The pandemic forced LUC along with many organizations to submit to a greater calling. March 14, 2020 The Level Up Campaign exercised true heroism by launching the ongoing Crisis program an initiative that started with preparing healthy hot meals, and delivering to individuals incapable of doing so themselves, currently offering a diverse range of resources to better serve the community. Since 2006 the Lower 9th ward of New Orleans struggles to recover due to hurricane Katrina. Not many essential businesses nor investors have interested in being stationed there. Which means the people rely solely on local officials, non-profits, and faith-based organizations. Creating a safe environment for children to study and stay productive became priority which led the Crisis program to aid individuals in need of Government resources such as (SNAP and Unemployment). During this ongoing process, The Level Up Campaign served and delivered over 66,000 hot meals, to over 500 families in a 12-month span. Making this type of sacrifice three times a week gives hope and families something to look forward to. Nearly every human despite race, creed, or wealth experienced a form of hardship, with hardly any resources available to them. It is impossible to cater to every need that arise during these times but, we are committed to performing the work.

Being awarded funding from the Greater New Orleans Foundation made it possible for LUC's Crisis program to purchase food, equipment, and necessary items to prepare and serve meals. Food preparation was volunteered by laid off chefs as a way of giving back to the community.

Challenges arose none more difficult than being dedicated to a community over shadowed by a political structure, making any attempt to do good discouraging. Fortunately, being able to make a difference in someone’s life means more than being honored as a hero. Progress and justice are being exercised on a weekly basis. The pandemic ruined the world that we were used to. But a testimony from the community of the lower 9th ward objects. This experience uncovered skeletons of the past and created a sense of unity in the community. There is no better feeling than giving when it is appreciated.

 

With times being uncertain we all as people look for some relief or encouragement to keep going. Over the course of the pandemic members of The Level Up Campaign performed great acts that could have potentially harmed the existence of the organization. At risk of contracting the virus; losing status as a charitable organization; not fully aware of the outcome implementation was mandatory. With many forces (politicians, community organizers, and senior representatives) against LUC's agenda made doing good work frightening. It is important that our city leaders step up to support organizations doing the work. Despite the many failed attempts reaching out to the council of District E for support and directions for assistance. It was until the community became aware of the services offered by The Level Up Campaign is when things begun to shape up. To ensure the lower 9th ward was not left behind many fortunate individuals donated nonperishable food that could be incorporated into the menu and distributed to those in need. Many people with disabilities required special attention some incapable of getting to the front doors of their own home without support. Seeing this was saddening and left us with no option but to stay physically active and once again endanger the organization along with the clients we represented. Honored to admit that not one of the individuals we served contracted the virus. Out of courtesy during these times our clients are still being routinely checked on.

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