Archives for category: James

…that our first fundraiser which happened on July 5th/Kevin’s 25th b-day bash was a success. $910 raised for our cause ($911 to be exact because I found a dollar on the ground which was unaccounted for). It started off slow, however, after an hour or two it was popping. It was the perfect networking activity for us to experience. So many people pitched in for this effort it was amazing. One of Kevin’s friends baked an enormous cake with the Recrear logo and colors which was enough to feed an entire army..Literally!!! We are still eating off of it today. The Rusty Nail also donated $1 for every drink bought at the bar. So if any of you followers are in New Orleans next time, please check out this awesome establishment. Great drinks, relaxed atmosphere, yet vibrant with locals and musicians alike. They were gracious enough to let us use their space as well as donating money to our cause. And I would also like to point out that Robin Barnes is an amazing singer!

P.S. I think that there might be some leftover cake at KP’s house if anybody wants any!!!! 🙂

-James Smith

So everyone…..

We keep on moving onward and upward from here. It has been a packed last week and a half but we have come together and accomplished so much.

On the 6th, the group brainstormed for hours to come up with a year long plan for Recrear New Orleans’ first year. We received a visit by one of UNO’s Admission’s representatives in order to hear about how we will be able to work closely in coordination with the university in the future. They were generous to provide us with pizza, however, we found ourselves dying of thirst. Finding ourselves faced with the same problem (lack of water that is) we decided to move our meeting INTO the fountain in the Pontchartrain North courtyard. Yes indeed!!! We were all sitting with our feet in the water while discussing discussing the details about different goals that Recrear New Orleans wants to accomplish in the upcoming year.

Of course our brainstorming session didn’t run without its problems. We encountered several bumps of turbulence as we found ourselves overwhelmed with the mass amount of information that was being presented on the table by all of the members. The ideas were coming faster than we could process them in logical order on paper! It was like opening Pandora’s Box. Once we opened the creative portions of our minds, the ideas instantly flew up into the air and all around. We found ourselves spending a decent amount off time trying to snatch them back out of the air in order to organize them properly. After everything was under control once again, we thought it best sleep in our progress and break for the evening.

On the 7th, we reconvened and immediately broke up into 3 groups in order to address the different aspects of project development and planning for Recrear. The caliber of the ideas which were developed were so amazing that the groups instantly caught a second wind for the work ahead. Each of the groups received feedback from each other in order to build upon the presenting group’s ideas. The excitement was building among the members once we discovered the endless possibilities of what we could accomplish in the near future.

Recrear was visited by two special guests. The first one was Starr Woodward with NOLA Starr promotions who talked with us about potentially managing Recrear Nola’s Marketing and Advertising. She offered wonderful insight about how Recrear could begin by going about with our marketing strategy, while at the same time, explaining to us what she had the potential of doing for the organization. Our second guest was Ms Pamela Rault, Interim Dean of Student Affairs at UNO. She expressed her appreciation for our efforts to create an organization such as Recrear in New Orleans and further expressed her excitement for what Recrear has the potential for doing for the community as well as worldwide.

Following her visit, we realized that it was approximately 10 pm already with still one group left to present their ideas concerning Recrear’s plan’s for the first year. At about quarter to 11, we finally called an evening.

And here I am now. Kirsten and Kevin are sitting across from me working diligently in preparation for our final gala tomorrow. Gioel and Laura are off printing pictures for the auction at the gala, and I am here typing this blog 🙂 Come to find out, Kirsten, Gioel, and Kevin have been without sleep for the past evening and plan on going without sleep for the night to come. Bless them!!!! And this is what we are all about. The drive and perseverance of the members of Recrear is amazing and a real driving force. If anyone has any doubts about this organisation being able to become something amazing for this community and communities around the world, then they are wrong. Because first of all, Recrear is already amazing because the people who become involved with Recrear are amazing! And these people are not just the members involved now, but those of you who plan on plan on becoming involved with us in the future!!

Come and find out what we are all about by joining us tomorrow for Recrear New Orleans’ official launch in the Big Easy!!!

Join us on Saturday, July 9th at 4:00 pm at the UNO St. Claude Gallery for the inaugural presentation of Recrear New Orleans!

The event will be an opportunity for the New Orleans team to present its achievements and future plans. Moreover, the event is also designed to fundraise for Recrear-Partecipacion, the first project sponsored by Recrear New Orleans and delivered in the Dominican Republic from July 11th to July 26th.

Since only limited space is available, we would appreciate your RSVP here:

You may also support our event by making a donation on our blog or directly at

Now my dears….off to find dinner!!!!!! 🙂

-James Smith

So much has happened in the past few days here in New Orleans for RecrearParticipate! We are continually striving to address all of the items on our agenda while reaching the goals which we have set for the conference. Yesterday, we broke off into several groups in order to individually address the strategies of Recrear’s role in New Orleans. We had a little time to network last night during dinner at a church on campus. They graciously gave us a free meal and through that we were presented with the golden opportunity to share with others who it is that we are and what we’re all about. While at dinner, I did find out that you can add fruit juice to sherbet in order to make a delicious blend of fruity goodness 😉

Today, we took the time to piece these strategies together into one master plan by connecting the dots between them in order to form one all-inclusive strategy for the program to implement. It’s amazing how this is all coming together. Everyone here is so passionate about this organization taking off in New Orleans. We feed off of the many ideas presented on the table in order to create a massive cloud of brainstorming and ideas which stem from that. Flip charts have never been so important! There are pieces of flipchart paper littered about the room with all of our plans and brainstorming written in a kaleidoscope of scented marker covering them.

Of course there are a couple of bumps and hiccups along the way but everyone is remaining in positive spirits. We are organizing two fundraisers which will allow the staff members to present our workshop to partners in the Dominican Republic in about a week and a half. Everyone is committed to a $100 contribution to the fundraising effort. Fundraising is always a nail biting aspect of this type of work but we stand with fists held high and excited about the outcome.

We are almost one week into this with one week left to go. I am amazed about what we have accomplished thus far and what we will still be able to accomplish within the week to come! Onward and upward from here on out!!

-James Smith