Giving Back: A’Zirea Alexander wants to feed, supply the homeless for her birthday
Published 12:14 am Wednesday, May 23, 2018
RESERVE — When Angel Alexander asked her daughter, A’Zirea, about plans for her upcoming 16th birthday, she expected a request for a lavish party, mirroring the celebration her older sister received the year before.
She was blown away when A’Zirea said her only birthday wish was to give back to the homeless population of New Orleans with a summer collection drive.
On Aug. 4, four days before A’Zirea’s birthday, she and her family will hand out donations and serve red beans and rice to the underprivileged.
An exact location is being set.
In the meantime, she’s asking the community to help by contributing gently used clothes, socks, shoes and toiletries.
“I understand that some are less fortunate, so instead of [my mother] putting out unnecessary money, I’d rather her spend her money in a way that I can touch hearts and impact lives,” A’Zirea said.
The service project has been a long time coming, according to A’Zirea. Every time her family travels to New Orleans, she looks at the tents and chairs under Interstate 10 and yearns to make a difference.
“I like helping people,” A’Zirea said. “It’s just a part of me, and this is only the beginning. I like to go above and beyond.”
In December, A’Zirea plans to host a toy drive to spread holiday cheer to children confined to hospital beds during Christmas.
Always on the move and striving for achievement, A’Zirea throws the javelin in track and field at East St. John High and participates in volleyball and basketball outside of school.
A’Zirea is a member of the Pink Nails mentorship program at New Wine Christian Fellowship, and she cited a close relationship with God as part of her inspiration to serve others.
She hopes to attend Louisiana State University’s School of Medicine and pursue a career as a pediatric surgeon.
Angel said her daughter’s selfless nature is inspiring, especially considering her upbringing in a single-parent home.
“A’Zirea wasn’t raised with a silver spoon in her mouth,” Angel said.
“This is huge for her to be 15 years old and not worried about herself. It’s a struggle to raise children, but the best you can do is instill in your kids that it’s OK to give, not just receive.”
Angel said she and A’Zirea debated whether to open the project to the community, ultimately deciding only good could come from additional helping hands.
Thus far, they’ve received soap, mouthwash, toothpaste and some clothing donations.
“Even if we don’t get any more donations, the show will still go on,” Angel said, adding those who can’t contribute items are welcome to help serve food Aug. 4.
For more information, contact Angel at 504-346-2445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.