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July 4th, 2009
08:31 AM ET

Making a difference in the Big Easy

This Independence Day weekend is loaded with headline stories. From Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s announcement to funeral and memorial plans for Michael Jackson to bubbling violence in Afghanistan. A complicated confluence of events. So it’s especially nice to bring you a couple examples of how kind deeds are changing lives in the still deeply wounded city of New Orleans.

While thousands of tourists are converging on NOLA for the Essence Music Festival which is this year paying tribute to the King of Pop, we wanted you to know about something else happening in the Crescent City. Check out my stories profiling the Roots of Music  and separately, musician Josh Charles.  

Roots of Music gives you a view of the potential every child, anywhere, has. And that along with nurture and good nature, every child is exceptional.

You’ll see what I mean when you watch the story. And if the children don’t inspire you( which I know they will), how about the founder of the program, Derrick Tabb.  Wow, what a big heart being shared so unselfishly. 

And then, check out what musician Josh Charles is doing. A talent who is using the power of lyrics to help impact the city in another way. And he’s got an inventive way to engage you to perhaps play a role.

I’d love to hear your impressions of New Orleans recovery and resilience.

We will air full stories from New Orleans throughout the weekend here on CNN.

Filed under: Fredricka Whitfield
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. michael armstrong sr.

    I think im going to celibrate michael today by watching thriller and toasting to our warriors in the middle east with glasses of burgandy probly several times .

    July 4, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  2. Linda Butler

    Dear CNN,
    I was just watching your news show about debt. I am a Registered Nurse and I have lost my job. I have been unemployed since May 17, 2009. You told people to save for 6 months are longer on todays show. After a whole lot of nurses lost their jobs in the mid 1990s when Bill Clinton tried to get us Universal Health I took out savings plan so I would not be so hard hit should we try for Universal Health again.
    The problem is when I lost my job in May, I was told I had thousands shares of stock, but they are not worth much in my retirement plan on my job. Through the years I had saved $25,000.00 but the check I received just over $6,000.00. That did not last but one month. They don't want to pay me unemployment benefits.
    I am a Single parent with two sons. Anthony is 17. He got 2 A's; 1 B; and 3 C's on his Spring report card. He is in summer school working real hard to play Varsity Football in the Fall. My son Walter is 19 years old. Walter is in the Army Reserves and attended Long Beach State University. He got an A in Astronomy this Spring.
    I can't afford to pay my June car note. And I can't afford my July rent. I am going to have to tell my landlord real soon that I am unemployed and I don't have money to pay my rent. I feel like I took precautions, to protect myself and family. But things, bad things happen. My rent has increased $50.00 every six months since we have lived in this apartment complex 11 to 12 years...but my salary did not increase like that. My car note is as nearly as high as my rent. The car insurance is as high as a car note used to be, about $500.00 per month.
    People out here in the United States are having to very serious problems. I really need some serious help and some useful answers.
    I went on line for homeless shelters. I am not an alcoholic, drug addict, or an abused woman. I have been in nursing since 1977; a registered nurse since 1983. I have a Masters in Nursing from California State University, Dominguez Hills since 2000. I am hanging in there by my nails!

    Linda Butler, RN, MSN, CNS

    July 4, 2009 at 2:26 pm |

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