Industrial Bank


Industrial Bank
New Orleans Students Donate
Time, Resources to Philippines
By Barrington M. Salmon
WI Staff [email protected]
The young survivors in New
Orleans could be excused if they
looked inward as they continue
to move beyond the devastation
of Hurricane Katrina.
But on August 22, 20 students
from McDonogh 35 Senior
High School will travel to the
Philippines to offer support to
fellow students. Last November,
super Typhoon Haiyan, one of
the strongest storms in history,
slammed into the Central Philippines. The storm killed more
than 6,200 people amid the devastation.
The students, aka the ’Reke
Allstars, will spend 10 days to assist in building a pre-fab shelter
for a needy family, participate in
a basketball camp, attend school
and help in the recovery. The
teens have the opportunity because of a unique collaboration
with Operation Hoops Cares;
the Embassy of the Philippines;
Industrial Bank; the USPhilippines Society; New Orleans Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans and
several of his brothers.
“The typhoon was the Philippines’ worst,” said Jena Ferguson, creator of Operation Hoops
Cares. “It’s a natural connection.
It’s so crazy. People were living
in [a stadium] and 80 percent of
the schools were damaged. It
was the same in New Orleans.
The kids will go to school there
for one week and those kids will
take supplies and they’re learning
construction and will help build
pre-fab structures.”
non-profit Knowledge Speaks
and a Manhattan resident, said
she just returned from the Philippines.
“It’s bad, really bad,” she said.
The students, many of whom
traveled by air for the first time,
visited New York City before
arriving in the District for the
June 3 embassy event. Ferguson
said group members met with
See STUDENTS on Page 15
Reggie Evans, the older brother of New Orleans basketball player Tyreke
Evans, told guests at the Philippines Embassy in Northwest that he and
his family relish any opportunity to give back especially when it comes to
education. /Photo by Roy Lewis
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14 June 19 - June 25, 2014
The Washington Informer
continued from Page 14
Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu,
who promised to expedite the
process so that students who
lost their birth certificates in the
hurricane can get replacements
to travel overseas in a couple of
The students wouldn’t be able
to make the trip at all without
the generous help of Industrial
Bank, which offered a $45,000
grant for travel and accommodations.
“We received a Bank Enterprise Award and we committed
20 percent of that on a persistent
poverty community. There are
none in D.C. So we got in touch
with Operation Hoops Cares
through Amos Greene,” said B.
Doyle Mitchell, grandson of the
bank’s founder and its president
and chief executive officer. “Jena
told us about this project with
natural disasters and the love
of basketball. They even have a
team named the Pelicans.”
“When God puts it all together, this is what you get. … Our
real job is helping people. We’re
a community bank where half of
our assets are invested in low- or
moderate-income communities.
We’re proud to support students
doing fantastic things.”
“This is an excellent opportunity to strengthen the ties of
the Philippines and the U.S. and
New Orleans and the Philippines,” said Philippines Minister and Consul Elmer G. Cato.
“Basketball is the most popular
sport in the Philippines despite
our height.”
Retired Ambassador John
Maisto agreed with a hearty
“They follow basketball in a
serious way in the Philippines,”
said Maisto, president of the
USPhilippines Society which was
asked to partner on the project.
“Americans who go would be
surprised to see how popular the
game is. The beauty of what’s
going on now is that it involves
hurricane survivors. It’s kids, it’s
basketball, it’s reconstruction,
it’s education. This brings everything together beautifully.”
Bill Kealey, an instructor in
the ACE Mentoring Program –
which in addition to introducing
the teens to career opportunities
in architecture, construction and
engineering – will help them
build 23 pre-fabricated homes to
be sent overseas once they procure the money.
Reggie Evans, Tyreke’s brother and manager,
told guests
at the Philippines Embassy in
Northwest he and his family relish any opportunity to give back.
Brothers Eric and Dahz stood in
the back of the room until they
joined other guests to take pictures.
“Thank you all for coming
out,” he said. “We’re grateful to
be a part of anything related to
education. This will help the kids
take a break from the stress. The
struggle in the Philippines and
New Orleans breaks our heart.
We wanted to help and we’re going to help.”
Tyreke Evans wasn’t at the
press conference because he’s
recovering from knee surgery.
“I wish my brother was here,”
Reggie Evans said. “He wants to
be a huge part of this. He’ll have
his face in the Philippines at the
Evans, 41, recalled the difficult circumstances his family
endured while living in Chester, Pennsylvania, saying sports
provided the outlet he and his
brothers needed to succeed and
rise above the myriad challenges.
Since becoming a professional
athlete, Evans said, his brother
has attached himself to a number of notable projects such as
donating $2 million to provide
eye care to the needy, working
with Doctors Without Bor-
ders, and sponsoring basketball
Malik Collins, 17, recalled his
first airplane ride after reading
a poem about his Katrina experience.
“I was so nervous. It was tense
and overwhelming. There was
excitement and a lot to take in
but I really, really enjoyed it. The
whole trip has been a learning
experience.” WI
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The Washington Informer
June 19, - June 25, 2014