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 150 children with clothes and other essentials such as hygiene products, diapers, wipes, cribs, 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 an all-volunteer run organization as there are no paid employees. LOCC 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.
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!
Jeff is a long-time resident of south Louisiana. After serving six years in the US Navy, Jeff has worked as a chemist, auditor, and supervisor for the same company for 30 years. He is the father of two children and adoptive father of three.
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 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.
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.
Candace was awarded the 2020 Spirit of Leadership Community Service Partner of the Year award earlier this year. Community service is very important to her and she not only serves on LOCC’s board, she is one of the lead volunteers as well.
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.