Just came across this article from 2008 about the Just The Right Attitude Food Bank. It is one of my favorites so I thought I would share it. Here is an excerpt from the article that is available in the Nola.com’s archives…
Woman’s bad times help others
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Just the Right Attitude is more than a food bank in eastern New Orleans.
“Debra South gives out everything from hot meals to hugs,” Ray Reggie said. “She has a personal rapport with everyone. She understands what it means to need help.”
Ray Reggie (now Chairman of the Board of JTRA), managing partner with Premier Promotions, serves on the board of Just the Right Attitude along with Troy Duhon, president of Premier Automotive Group.
In 2002, when the men heard about the little food pantry Debra was operating out of her garage, they decided to offer her a space on the second floor of a car dealership. And Just the Right Attitude began to grow.
“We love her cause,” Ray Reggie said. “Everybody wanted to help.”
— Growing out of need —
The idea for the community resource began a decade ago with a trip Debra made to the food stamp office. She was a mother in her 30s fighting ovarian and thyroid cancer, and she’d had to retire from her accounting job. Her first husband had taken off, and she was surviving on disability checks and help from family and friends.
She didn’t make enough money to feed her son and daughter, but she was rudely told she made too much to qualify for food stamps.
“I felt so humiliated,” she said.
She promised God that if she got better she would find a way to help people who were hungry and struggling.
From that promise, and a few shelves of canned goods, grew a United Way agency that doles out hope and 2.5 million pounds of food a year.
When Ray Reggie asked a man what he’d do without Debra’s food bank, he answered, “I would be hungry.”
— Place to get a hand —
In April, Just the Right Attitude, with the help of Ray Reggie, moved into two buildings next to Toyota of New Orleans on the I-10 Service Road. And since then, Debra has been giving out lots of hot meals, boxes of staples and hugs….
I think it is good to remind myself why the work I do with JTRA is so important and this does. Have a Blessed day.