Picture this. It is 7 a.m. on Friday, May 22.

Just over two months ago, we would have been opening our doors at this time.  Right now, our third cohort of the year – 15 eager, creative, deserving young people – would be starting their fifth day of our 8-week program. They should have been chasing their dreams and working towards a different future for them and their families, but none of that is happening right now.

Instead, Reconcile is striving to create a new normal, one where our Alumni can survive a pandemic.

Today, 7 a.m. looks a lot different. Our doors unlock, but only for our staff, ready to prepare Meals of Hope that feed Reconcile Alumni and our hungry community. They wear masks, gloves, and stay 6 feet apart; but the passion to feed, nurture, and care hasn’t changed one bit. Put it this way—we are still cooking the same delicious recipes, just with different ingredients.

Since the pandemic began, more than 200 Alumni spanning an 18-year history of our mission have contacted us for help. The to-do lists managed by our program staff have multiplied into three years’ worth of service delivery. Those touches manifest in late-night phone calls, weekend text exchanges, or a masked, outdoor check-in at the Reconcile building to pick up food and gift cards that help them and their families.

The simple act of showing up opens a dialogue, ensures access to proper information, and provides the help needed to navigate really difficult situations.

When YOU show up, all of a sudden, Reconcile’s young people have the resources to begin defining this new normal.

But first, we have to create the new normal. It takes all of us, working together.

We can once again equip young people with the tools to chase their dreams, but it’s going to take your help, because together, we are still Reconcile. Together, we can define a NEW NORMAL.

Make “showing up” possible with your donation now or on GiveNOLA Day, June 2! Your gift will be immediately doubled thanks to the generosity of the HOLT FAMILY FOUNDATION.