A Bit Of Background
NORTHEAST LOUISIANA SICKLE CELL ANEMIA TECHNICAL RESOURCE FOUNDATION, INC. HISTORY
The Northeast Louisiana Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation has been working for the past 32 years to overcome an inherited health condition, which can have a devastating impact on families and become exasperating for individuals affected with this disease. The Louisiana Association of Sickle Cell Anemia (LASCA) and its president, Mr. Gerald Williams, brought the movement to improve the quality of life of those with sickle cell to the Northeast Louisiana area in 1979. He appointed Mrs. Vivian R. Hester, sent her to training in New Orleans, and she then became the Resource Coordinator for the area. The first office was located at 1204 Stubbs St for a short while and later moved to her home, on Jackson St. There were two employees, Mrs. Hester, Director and the secretary, Mrs. Barbara Hunter.
A Board of Directors was developed under the presidency of Mrs. Lillie Spears. The members were Dr. Frederick D Perkins, Co-Chairman, Mrs. Mabeline Bradley, Mrs. Mertis Bryant, Mrs. Nancy Jones, Mrs. Ethelind Lenoir, Mr. Franchey Truewell, Rev. Joe L Spencer, Mrs. Cleo Miller, Mr. Eugene Keys, Mr. N. R. Goins, Mrs. Cora Woodard, Mr. William Cooper, Mrs. Mattie Dixon, Mrs. Gerri Dourseau, Dr. Penny White and Mrs. Martha Hudson. An Advisory Board was also established. On March 28, 1980, we received our charter and in 1981 received the 501(c)3 status.
Under Mrs. Spears’ leadership, she was able to secure a building on Atkinson St from Mr. Henry Carroll, rent free, until the foundation was able to raise enough funds on a consistent basis to pay. At that time, ten (10) parishes and 50 patients were being served after several months, a grant was received to help with building maintenance.
In 1980, new officers were elected and plans were laid out on the focus and operation of the Foundation. Mr. B. D. Robinson became President with Mrs. Lillie Spears, Vice President, Mrs. Charity Wright, Secretary and Atty. Clyde Lain, Treasurer. The following programs were put on the table and implemented: workshops, seminars, street drives, writing grants and educational programs in the schools, churches and organizations.
The Foundation later moved to 3201 Jackson St. and then in 1996 to its present location at 1604 Winnsboro Road. This building was donated by Hibernia National Bank. The number of clients had increased to over 200.
Over the years, the Foundation has received funding through the State of Louisiana and United Way. Donations, contributions from the general public, and special events, such as the Annual Walk-a-Thon, along with fundraising efforts such as an Annual Banquet, and programs of all kind, have also contributed to the Foundation being able to continue its program of helping those with sickle cell.