Meet LaSherrica Burkes

Meet LaSherrica Burkes

LaSherrica Burkes has been attending the Allendale Friendship House after-school programs for the past five years. “I like the environment,” said LaSherrica. “It’s safe. Not only do you come here to meet new people, but you learn about God too.” The picture above is from a service project the Operation H.O.P.E. youth had before the Christmas break. LaSherrica and many other CRI youth went door-to-door passing out candy canes and giving blankets to the elderly neighbors in Allendale. Not only does Community Renewal improve the lives of children and youth in our target areas, but CRI also helps them improve the lives of others by giving back. With your prayers and support, children and youth like LaSherrica are able to be part of creating a safe and caring...
Love Wins Out In West Morningside

Love Wins Out In West Morningside

Charlotte Jones Love Wins Out In West Morningside The wailing of police sirens, the shouting across the street, the crashing of glass. Charlotte Jones had heard enough. But instead of hiding behind locked doors, she opened them and neighborswent out to meet the troubles head on – with love and friendship. A resident of Shreveport’s West Morningside neighborhood for more than 10 years, Mrs. Jones credits the Haven House concept for bringing true renewal to her community. “There was conflict in the neighborhood and the police would be called. It was people not knowing each other,” she said. “One time flower pots were broken; one time a car window was broken. There was vandalism. It was an ongoing feud.” Until one day – Christmas Day – when love won out. Without any fanfare, a man who had been anything but friendly took a gift to Christina Johnson, his across-the-street neighbor. The two families had gone through many troubles, but the power of friendship was finally taking hold. “Community Renewal played a very important role in this,” Mrs. Jones said. “The first step was coming to the Haven House training. If you can show somebody a different way, they’ll usually be willing to take that step.” Now Christina Johnson is not only a Haven House leader herself; she is recruiting others. “We Care” signs are sprouting on her street like spring flowers. Today the residents of West Morningside work together on activities like Easter egg hunts for the children, clean-up days and neighborhood yard sales. “I was raised to love my neighbors – that’s in my heart. It’s scary when...
Finding The Path To A Better Life

Finding The Path To A Better Life

Finding The Path To A Better Life ARA student stops running, turns life around, earns GED, gives to community Askari Hinton ran for half of his life before finding the path to a better life. The new road he is traveling on led him thstudentsrough the CRI Adult Renewal Academy, where this year he earned his GED and added his name to our growing list of success stories. “I made a couple mistakes when I was young, like many of us do. I ran from my parents and I ran from Shreveport for 17 years,” he said. “I had the wrong type of role models and I was in trouble a lot. There are a lot of things I wish I could have done differently. But I turned against the world and I ran.” On Father’s Day of 2003, Hinton sat in a jail cell when he started a reading a poem that his son had written for him. The theme was about a boy following in his Daddy’s footsteps. “I made a decision to change right then and I made a 360-degree turn in my life,” he said. Hinton returned to Shreveport in 2006. He soon enrolled in Louisiana Technical College and found full-time work in welding. He has learned to depend on his faith, rather than people he thought were friends, but were not friends at all. When his sister enrolled in the Distance Learning Program of the ARA, taking classes at Noel United Methodist Church, he saw a way to earn the degree he was missing. He attended the ARA this past summer and earned his...
Finding Purpose And Passion In Renewal

Finding Purpose And Passion In Renewal

Finding Purpose And Passion In Renewal Successful businesswoman impacts her block – and the world. “Community Renewal has trained and nurtured me and I am jumping up and down inside because of what God has done for me in my life. I thank Community Renewal for their commitment to me and to you and to every person who lives in the Shreveport-Bossier area, and ultimately in cities and nations all around the world. “I’ve come to tell you that Community Renewal is the real thing. It is made up of a proven methodology that is adaptable to reach any person in any neighborhood and provide them with a way to cut to what is crucially important to people in all societies, and that is for neighbors to know and interact with one another. It is an innate need of ours to connect. “Five years ago I found myself searching for a charity organization I could support. I needed something more significant to work for each day than just accomplishments and money. Up to this point, I had lived my life focused on achievements and making a name for myself. I strived to be the best I could at any cost. Relationships mattered very little. “Community Renewal provided me the road to get out of my self-centered world that had led me to disappointment and even depression. They walked with me as I developed into a more compassionate person who now values people and relationships more than ever. “God commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves. This past Tuesday night, my husband and I had 38 adults and 16...
A Brand New Woman

A Brand New Woman

A Brand New Woman Pam Morgan Pam Morgan walked the streets of Shreveport’s Allendale neighborhood, searching for drugs, seeking the next high that would deaden the open wounds in her life. “I started partying seven days a week to escape the pain of losing my Mom. And I was in an abusive relationship and the last two years were a living hell,” Pam says. “I had no hope at all because my Mom was my backbone. After she passed, everything went blank and I felt very helpless. I was just getting myself in more trouble, making things worse and making more pain.” But like a flower that looks dead in the winter, only to revive again in the spring, Pam came to life out of the darkest and harshest of seasons – thanks to the outreach of Community Renewal International. Today, the woman who had no hope gives hope to others. The woman who felt so helpless goes out of her way to help those she once ignored. “I met a lady by the name of Jewel Mariner,” Pam says. “It turned out that Mrs. Mariner was with Community Renewal International. With her help and encouragement, I was able to achieve many things.” Jewel, an CRI community coordinator for Allendale, says that even in her carousing, Pam still wanted the best for her four children and wanted to be a good mother for them. After she found friends in CRI, she became that – and much more. “She looked like a dead-end hopeless case and now she’s our neighborhood ambassador. She’s been transformed,” Jewel says. “If you have a...