Thanksgiving Meditations

As we approach the holiday season and the end of 2020, we eagerly await the hope of new beginnings
in 2021. This time of the year is customarily met with lines at the grocery stores, malls filled with jovial
shoppers, and homes adorned with holiday décor waiting to host relatives who traveled near and far.
However, as we move towards Thanksgiving, we are reminded that we are in the midst of a “new
normal.” Now, our groceries are being delivered, the idea of exchanging gifts is almost an afterthought,
and our homes serve as a safe zone to isolate and protect us from the pandemic that has forever
changed our lives. While we sit in the reality of what today brings, I encourage you to stand in the hope
of a brighter tomorrow and choose to give thanks during this Thanksgiving.

There are so many things we can all be thankful for despite the uncertainty that we may feel at this
time, and I’d like to share just a few. As a citizen of New Orleans I am giving thanks this year because
our city endeavored through a record number of potential hurricanes that could have devastated our
community and the surrounding area. As a social worker, I am giving thanks that a large number of
guests were housed this year in an effort to reduce the number of homeless individuals during this
pandemic. As the executive director of Lantern Light, I am giving thanks that we have been able to
continue serving our guests and employing our staff through the continued support of our donors.
While these are only a small representation of the many reasons why I am thankful in this season, I
implore you to reflect on what you can give thanks for.

Kenitha Williams

“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.”
Shauna Niequist


Working Together For a Better Tomorrow


Helen Keller once said, “Alone, we can do so little; Together, we can do so much.” As a ministry that has been providing services for the Greater New Orleans area for over a decade, Lantern Light understands the power of working together. As we approach the end of another school year, we want to express our thanks to the administration, staff and students from several schools who helped us in various ways to provide meals and other essentials to the homeless and less fortunate. We are especially grateful to students from several schools who supported our agency since the beginning of this year.  We salute their efforts and know that with their continued support, we will have a better tomorrow.



As many gather around the dining table to share in a holiday meal, indulge in the opening of presents around the family Christmas tree, or share in the tradition of annual New Year’s Eve gathering, it is with a spirit of thanks and goodwill to all that I ask you to remember those in need during this holiday season.

The word “need” denotes that there is a thing that is necessary or wanted.  At some point in time, we all have a need in our lives, but we often negate to put ourselves in the same position as those we consider to be “in need.”  Let us remember that the elderly person in the line at the grocery store who lives alone, the young individual holding a sign a the stop light that we anxiously wait to pass up, or the lady that stands near the door of the restaurant asking for food, are often in search of that same “need” that we may be longing for.  An opportunity, a word of compassion, or a simple smile could all be considered a need that we can benefit from as one to receive or give.  So as you forge into the new year, and you remember those in need, be encouraged that if you can find a way to feed your “need,” there are simple things you can do to help others do the same.


Support Lantern Light During I Give Catholic!


When you support Lantern Light you can help to fight hunger in the City of New Orleans.  Last year our organization served over 39,000 morning snacks and more than 51,000 lunches.

When you support Lantern Light you can help individuals obtain credentials they need to qualify for housing programs and obtain employment.  Last year our organization provided 421 individuals with Louisiana state identification cards and 331 individuals with birth certificates.




Lantern Light wishes to extend a great big THANK YOU to all of the individuals and organizations that helped our First Gala to be a great success!!  Please support our event sponsors and the businesses that provided food and donations for our raffle at the Gala.



The Three Letter Word that Carries a Big Punch

Influenza, commonly known as the Flu, is a viral infection that can be easily spread through the air from coughs and sneezes.  While most individuals have symptoms similar to a cold or stomach virus, those that have the Flu experience worse signs that can sometimes lead to hospitalization or even death.  It can be difficult to avoid the Flu.  However, there are steps we can take to lessen the chances of developing it.

LSU Nursing Students Christian and Kim have been volunteering at Lantern Light over the past several weeks.  On Wednesday they shared with guests a presentation on Flu prevention.  The students provided facts about the Flu, they shared signs guests could look for to determine if they developed the flu, as well as steps they can take to prevent the Flu.   While many individuals report that they do receive the Flu shot annually, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recently reported that the current Flu vaccine has an overall effectiveness of only 36 %.

As the country continues to experience a high level of the virus, please remember that it is still a good idea to get the Flu shot, as well as the importance of avoiding individuals that are sick, staying away from others if you have the Flu, and covering your hands and nose.  Also make sure you avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and making sure that you always wash your hands!


The Dawn Busters Kiwanis and Lantern Light Partner for Clothing Drive

The Dawn Busters and the Eye openers Kiwanis clubs donated much needed clothes for the Lantern Light Ministry to distribute to those in need.  Kenitha Grooms-Williams the Director of the staff for Lantern Light and Sonny Romero one of the Dawn Busters team captains for their Lantern Light community outreach program co- chaired the event. Standing from left to right First row: Grooms-Williams Lantern Light Director, Lou Oschmann from the Eye Openers  Claude Thibodeaux, Second row: Mike Murphy, Sonny Romero, Dave Massey, David Barry .



Thank You Supporters!

Lantern Light wishes to express our sincerest thanks to the many that supported our organization during Gulf Coast Bank’s Auctions in August. On behalf of our guests, we are truly grateful that you chose to help those in need through our ministry.