Wednesday, March 14, 2012


If you've had the unfortunate experience of reading this blog over the last several years, or if you have the even more unfortunate experience of knowing me personally, you know how I feel about a certain Reggio Emilia-inspired childcare center here in my favorite city in the Universe. You may have read my thoughts about it here and here and here; maybe you've even donated money to the place (thank you very much, by the way). You probably know how much Abeona House means to me and to my children (insert gratuitous picture),

and that it is a perfect example of how love and hope and community can spring from ruin and despair. And if you've had the very wonderful privilege of meeting my children (get ready for more manipulative photo-inserting),

you probably know how happy and empathic and creative they are, and that I attribute so much of that awesomeness to the years they've spent at Abeona House.

But do you know that we moved, last November, to a large, wonderful building in Mid-City? That we doubled our capacity?

Did you know that we now have a kitchen and hired an incredible chef, who prepares amazing meals for our kids each day at no extra cost to families?

You probably don't know that expanding our capacity allowed us to serve a much broader and more diverse community, and that we're now eligible for the CCAP program, which enables low-income families to access quality childcare. Isn't that awesome?

If you helped us move over Thanksgiving weekend, or stopped by the Open House we had in December, you saw the huge yard and play equipment. And if you know my son, you understand the importance of green space (lightsabers need a wide, wide berth).

If you're an astute reader (and of course you are), you probably understand by now what I'm about to ask for. You know about our annual Crescent City Classic fundraiser, which we affectionately refer to as the Reggio Run, where we all ask folks to sponsor us (read: donate money to the school) and then we dress up in ridiculous costumes and run or walk the 10 kilometers that make up one of the largest road races in the country.

What kind of ridiculous costumes? Glad you asked!

Last year, I ran 10 Kilometers, in 85-degree heat and suffocating humidity, in this polyester Princess Leia costume. Yes, I ran the whole way with the blaster. Yes, that's my real hair in those buns. Yes, when I started to sweat it was totally and completely see-through. Yes, every male under the age of 65 asked me to stop and pose for a photo.

I also raised close to $900 for the school, and collectively we raised over $8,000. That money was vital to keep our small operation alive, and allowed us to grow bigger, to reach an economy of scale that improves teacher quality of life, enables true diversity, and has made us more financially solvent.

(Also, the fundraiser was an excuse for me to force my children to star in a ridiculous, poorly-edited video. Please watch it--it's for the children.)
This year, we're raising money for our Scholarship Fund, which is an absolutely essential resource for a large number of our wonderful families. Every penny is tax-deductible. Think of it as sponsoring a family, or if you have the unfortunate experience of knowing me personally, you might think of it as an affirmation of the hard work and total devotion I've shown to the organization. Or, if you're in the questionable position of loving New Orleans, think of it as supporting the continued growth and revitalization of the city. Or, do it just to shut me up--because this won't be my last ask, believe you me.

If you're inclined to donate, you can do so through our website:

Or, if you're still paying for stamps, you can mail a donation to the Center: 3401 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70119.

Every little bit helps. If you donated before, please do so again. If you haven't donated before but will consider it if I force my children to star in another poorly-produced film, I will gladly pimp them out. Just say the word. After all, it's for the children.