Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by Morgan Stanley Healthy Cities.
Helping New Orleans Children Get a Healthy Start
As moms, we all want our kids to be happy. Sometimes we think that means a new toy, an extra scoop of ice cream, or staying up 30 minutes past bedtime to play video games. It’s easy to get caught up in the grind of daily life and take simple things for granted – from providing your children with fresh and nutritious food to safe spaces to play.
Unfortunately, there are moms in our community who struggle to provide many of these simple necessities to their children. But the good news is, together, we can do something about it!
I am a mom to three wonderful children – Carmen (9), Elodie (7), and Isaac (5). I also work full-time as a Vice President and Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley. I have worked here for seven years, and am proud to be a part of a company that is taking steps to provide children in our community with wellness, nutrition and play resources for a healthy start to life.
Back in May, Morgan Stanley, alongside our partners including Second Harvest Food Bank, KaBOOM!, Grow Dat Youth Farm, 504HealthNet, and local schools, launched Healthy Cities New Orleans. During the kickoff event, I joined more than 100 Morgan Stanley volunteers and KaBOOM! to build a new playground at Lake
Forest Charter School. This is just one step toward providing more than 1,000 children and families with safe play spaces in our community.
In July, we participated in a back-to-school backpack distribution and health fair at the Sojourner Truth Neighborhood Center. This was very special for me because all three of my children were able to volunteer with me. We were part of the food line, and they each got to hand out different food items to participants. We all had a great time, and my 9-year-old, Carmen, even asked, “Can we do this every weekend?”
Last week, we celebrated the launch of the first of four school pantry programs at ReNEW Accelerated High School. Working together with Second Harvest Food Bank, the pantries will integrate free, nutritious groceries with other health programs for students and families each month.
Through programs like these, Healthy Cities New Orleans will provide more than 600,000 healthy meals, nutrition education programs for 1,000 children and 1,800 health screenings. Additionally, my teammates at Morgan Stanley will provide nearly 2,000 hours of volunteer service toward these efforts!
Not only has participating in this program been eye-opening for me, but it’s also been a great opportunity to teach my kids a valuable lesson about volunteerism. Healthy Cities gives us monthly opportunities to volunteer in the community and it has given me the impetus to start the conversation with my kids about the importance of giving back. It’s helped me to remind them just how blessed we are and that it’s our responsibility to help those who are less fortunate than we are.
I love that Morgan Stanley is not only giving back, but is giving us opportunities to participate as well. I thought my kids might be too young to understand, but they have truly embraced this experience and it has been heartwarming to see them get the same satisfaction from volunteering that I do.
I am excited to be a part of Healthy Cities New Orleans and to have the opportunity to effect change for children and families right here in our own community. As our partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank continues through our school pantry program, and we introduce new programs to the New Orleans area, I look forward to helping more families and children get the healthy start they deserve.
Looking to learn more about Healthy Cities New Orleans? You can do so HERE.
Beth Colón :: Vice President, Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley
Beth Colón is a Vice President and Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley in New Orleans. She is a Certified Financial Planner and Divorce Financial Analyst and focuses much of her practice on women. Beth is actively involved in the community and proud to call New Orleans home. She and her husband, Jimmie, have three children – Carmen, 9, Elodie, 7, and Isaac, 5.