Loving Our Community’s Children (LOCC) is a local non-profit started as a collaboration between the Leadership Ascension program and the Ascension Parish Chamber of Commerce to organize the development of a “foster closet” in Ascension Parish. Resources from a similarly structured Walker non-profit, The Family Village (TFV), shared their experiences with the newly organized LOCC board of directors to help with the original organization and structure. LOCC quickly determined that the ‘foster closet’ concept was needed for more than just those in foster care in Ascension Parish.
LOCC is dedicated to helping any child who has experienced a traumatic event. Children we serve include those in foster care, at risk of being taken into foster care, children being prepared to be reunified with their biological family after being in foster care, and those whom have suffered other traumatic experiences such as flood, fire, loss of financially-supporting parent, etc. LOCC is also open to any child who is referred by a mandated reporter. Mandated reporters include police officers, teachers, principals, bus drivers and church leaders. The support we provide is in the form of clothing, hygiene, cribs, playpens, diapers, hygiene products, and other essential items.
Since opening their doors in August 2020, LOCC has served over 750 children with clothes and other essentials such as hygiene products, diapers, wipes, cribs, toys, etc. The community response to LOCC has been tremendous and LOCC leadership is excited to see their services continue to grow and expand as word of their mission gets out into the community.
Presently, LOCC is a volunteer run organization and is currently recruiting volunteers for several functions. If you are interested please sign up. We need dedicated volunteers to sort donations, assist clients, and to inventory and organize stock. Additionally, if you have marketing, web development, social media, or other digital skills we could really use your help in getting our mission and communications out to the community.
LOCC also accepts donations of new or gently used children’s items on specific donation days or by appointment only. We do not have a drop off site. Financial donations are accepted to purchase items that families need that have not been obtained thru donations.
"We cannot always build the future for our youth,
but we can build our youth for the future."
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Our mission is create a bridge between the community and children in need, who have been affected by a traumatic experience, while laying a foundation for their journey to healing by providing support and essential materials.
Jeff and his wife Sheri have been certified foster parents since 2014 and have been a resource for countless emergency placements in addition to their adopted children. Wanting to do more for the foster community, Jeff and Sheri founded the River Parish Foster and Adoptive Parent Association with Sheri serving as President and Jeff as Treasurer. This first hand experience has provided the understanding of the needs of this underserved population and is instrumental in their belief that these innocent victims of domestic violence, drug addiction, and neglect desperately need the love and attention the community can provide.
Our Board of Directors
Candace is a long-time resident of south Louisiana and has lived in Ascension Parish for over 25 years. She has been a nurse for over 30 years and currently is employed by Ochsner Health as an Operations Manager. She was part of the Leadership Ascension Class of 2020. Her group chose LOCC as their community service project.
Candace has been involved in volunteer work for many years. She and her husband Lionel served as the AYBA commissioners of the St Amant gym and coached teams for many years, she taught religious education at her church, serves of the advisory board for RPCC nursing and medical assistant programs. She is also serves as a board member of the Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners and is currently the vice-chair.
Sinead graduated from Tulane University in 2014 and began her career as a chemical engineer. Soon after graduation she became a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in foster care. She served as a CASA for 12 children from 2015 - 2019. When work asked to be be apart of the Leadership Ascension Program, she jumped on the opportunity to do something to help more of the children she had been helping, and thus LOCC was born!
Community Outreach & Legal Counsel
Attorney Shawn Rene’ Bush is a current resident of Prairieville, Louisiana. She is a graduate of Southern University and Southern University Law Center. Attorney Bush began her legal career in Gonzales as a private practice attorney in 1999. In 2004, she became an Assistant District Attorney for the 23rd Judicial District, serving Ascension, Assumption and St. James Parishes. In her capacity as an Assistant District Attorney, Attorney Bush prosecuted property crimes and violent crimes for over 15 years. Attorney Bush is currently a private practice attorney in Gonzales, focusing on criminal defense and personal injury.
Darce’ Richmond lives in Maurepas, Louisiana with her husband of 41 years, Eddie. They have two children and one grandson.
Darce’ enjoys volunteer work and serves as a Board of Director for several other companies. She has a degree in Accounting and an MBA, both from LSU, and is a state-wide notary. She enjoys sports, being on the water and spending time with her family and friends.
Scotty Stafford is a lifelong resident of Ascension Parish. Scotty graduated in Chemistry from Northwestern State University where he played baseball. Scotty and his wife Pam have been a certified foster home since 2011. Scotty and Pam had three sons, Payton, Casey, and Brock; prior to adopting four foster children Izabella, Aubree, Cole and Emma. Scotty is a Quality Control Analyst at Koura Global in St. Gabriel. Scotty has been volunteering as a baseball coach since 1996. He has a heart for the children in our community.