NEW IBERIA — Anne Darrah is a retired graphic designer who has decided to put all of her extra time into brightening her community with the Li'l Brooklyn Neighborhood Initiative project.
"I always pictured what these houses would look like with some color on them," says Anne Darrah, the spearhead for the project. "I know that design can uplift people and change people's minds and make people happy."
The project was started last summer and has seen to be a huge success as community members have stepped up to donate money, paint and their time to help improve the neighborhood.
"You know people need paint on their houses. It was starting to look bad," says Jackie Bennet, a volunteer and resident from the neighborhood. "Then look what happened. It just brings out the best in everybody and brings people together."
Not only are the houses being freshly painted, but Darrah and the community plan to grow a community garden for the whole neighborhood to enjoy with citrus trees and vegetables.
"We have a friend who is a gardener and he is going to teach people how to garden," says Darrah.
On top of the physical improvements to the neighborhood, Darrah has been helping the residents get connected to find jobs, helping them register to vote and also helping the elderly in the neighborhood get access to COVID-19 vaccines.
"I think what I hope happens here, is already happening here," says Darrah. "The neighbors are already uplifted, they are already happy. The colors are happy and there is life here."
Darrah and the community are always welcoming more volunteers to help with the restoration. You can visit their Facebook page for more information on how to donate and volunteer.
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