Mount Carmel Academy received the "Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy" award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) on November 16, 2023. This esteemed recognition highlights the school's longstanding commitment to philanthropy through its enduring partnership with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (NOAHH). The award ceremony took place at the annual National Philanthropy Day event hosted by the AFP at the Audubon Tea Room, where MCA was one of eight honorees.
For the past 27 years, Mount Carmel Academy students have been actively engaged in volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, contributing to constructing houses in Musicians Village and painting homes in the Lower Ninth Ward four to five times each school year. With over 4,350 students dedicating their time, the school has accumulated more than 30,000 service hours for NOAHH. However, the impact of MCA's dedication extends well beyond numbers. MCA's dedication has impacted both the students and the partner families they assist, creating a lasting legacy.
Jay Huffstatler, Chief Advancement Officer for NOAHH, presented Mount Carmel's award to Mrs. Sue Buras. Mrs. Buras initiated MCA's partnership with Habitat for Humanity in 1997 and, alongside the thousands of student and teacher volunteers, has continued this collaboration since.
Ms. Beth Ann Simno emphasized the significance of the partnership, stating, "The Habitat for Humanity program provides our students with the opportunity to perform one of the seven corporal works of mercy in helping to 'Shelter the Homeless.' Participating in service opportunities like Habitat reminds students of the blessings bestowed upon their lives, fostering gratitude towards God and inspiring them to live in service to those in need. Mount Carmel Academy takes pride in its partnership with Habitat for Humanity, and what makes this collaboration truly remarkable is the integral role that learning plays in MCA's experiences with Habitat — a cycle of learning, growth, contribution, and a commitment to continuing this impactful journey."