We’re Wearing Jeans to Benefit ARNO Animal Shelter

Friday the 13th might be considered unlucky, but we’re changing all that with latest Jeans Day. Not only will our employees luck out with permission to wear jeans to work, but Animal Rescue New Orleans will also benefit – in order to be eligible to wear jeans, employees must bring a donation of $5 or more for ARNO.

barkus parade

This sweet ARNO shelter dog is all dressed up for the Barkus Parade. (Photo courtesy ARNO on Facebook)

You already know our commitment to animals – our new Bella Ridge property has a dedicated dog park, and many of our properties are pet-friendly – but you may not be aware of our ongoing relationship with ARNO. Our recent December pet drive benefited this no-kill shelter, and we saw great results! 1st Lake residents raised $228 cash, $260 in checks, and more than $300 in gift cards, plus plenty of donated items like food and supplies. Thank you for your help!

Our Feb. 13 Jeans Day is limited to employees, but we always encourage our residents to contribute to the community by helping ARNO!

Here are a few ways you can participate:

Adopt or Foster an Animal

ARNO has many cats and dogs who are eligible for adoption. Darla, Alfalfa, and Spanky are a trio of pups looking for a new home, for example, while Amy is a sweet adult cat ready to cuddle. Contact ARNO for more information, and review their materials for adopting and fostering.


Taking care of so many animals is hard work for the ARNO staff. They rely on volunteers to help, and you can be part of that! Assist with animal care, dog walking, kennel and cage cleaning, laundry, or even fun tasks like playing with kittens. Volunteering at ARNO also counts toward school service hours.


ARNO accepts monetary donations, gift cards to places like Wal-Mart and Petco, and specific goods like sponges and trash bags. ARNO’s canine residents need Purina One Dog Chow and Puppy Chow, canned dog food, and four-foot-long leashes. If you’d like to donate on behalf of their feline residents, bring Purina One Cat Chow, Purina One Kitten Chow, or large-size litter pans.

We can’t wait to wear our jeans on Feb. 13 to support this amazing animal shelter!

Places to Volunteer in New Orleans During the Holidays

The old adage tells us that “it’s better to give than to receive.” We think this applies not only to gifts, but also your time. The greater New Orleans area is a vibrant community, but it also has a lot of people and organizations in need, especially during this time of the year. That’s why we’ve put together a list of places where you can volunteer during the holidays – perhaps you can make it a new tradition with your friends and family!

Animal Rescue New Orleans Shelter

This no-kill shelter in Elmwood is always looking for volunteers to help with laundry, animal care, dog walking, and more. Volunteering at this shelter counts toward school service hours. You also can donate directly to ARNO as part of our December pet drive.

The Roots of Music

roots of music

The Roots of Music is one of several organizations in New Orleans that depends on the work of volunteers. (Photo courtesy: The Roots of Music on Facebook)

This organization ties music directly to empowerment for at-risk youth in the New Orleans community. Providing music education, academic support, and mentorship are just a few tenants of The Roots of Music, all while preserving the musical and cultural heritage of New Orleans. Volunteers can help participating students with homework, projects, and test review – no experience is necessary, and you’ll directly aid a child in becoming their most positive, productive self.

Grow Dat Youth Farm

Creating job opportunities and professional development for high school students and youth interested in urban agriculture, Grow Dat Youth Farm is a fully functioning farm in City Park that produces organic fruits and vegetables through sustainable farming techniques. The farm also relies on volunteers to help keep its grounds in tip-top shape – get out into the sunshine and put your hands to work with tasks like weeding, crop maintenance, and more.

There are many other worthy organizations in the area where you can volunteer. HandsOn New Orleans provides a detailed database of causes that might interest you based on distance, keywords, dates, and whether you’re volunteering as an individual or on behalf of a corporation. No matter what your passion, there is a volunteer opportunity available!

Donate to the Metro Center for Women and Children at 1st Lake Properties

In addition to our pet drive benefiting Animal Rescue New Orleans, 1st Lake Properties is also holding a donation drive in conjunction with the Apartment Association of Greater New Orleans to bring awareness and aid to the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children. This organization, a transitional shelter for domestic violence victims, provides immediate assistance to people in our community who have suffered violence and abuse.

School Supplies

School supplies like spiral notebooks, pencils, and backpacks are a few of the many needed items at the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children. Donate at 1st Lake Properties today! (Photo courtesy MyTudut on Flickr)

Beyond sheltering victims, the center also provides individual and group counseling for survivors of domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking, and sexual assault. Additional programs geared toward children, legal advocacy, and community outreach have positioned the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children as a comprehensive source for those in need.

We believe this organization empowers not only victims of domestic violence, but also our greater New Orleans community. Through education and awareness, we can become more empowered citizens and help our fellow neighbors stay safe and healthy. Here’s how to help:

Tax-Deductible Donations

The center accepts donations like clothing, personal care items, household items, cash and gift cards, and food from individuals and corporations. Metropolitan Center is a qualified charitable organization, so all donations are tax deductible.

What the Center Needs Most

Take a look at the items the center needs to provide care and quality of life to its residents.

For Kids

  • Children’s clothing for school uniforms (khaki and navy blue shorts or pants; white, red, or navy polo shirts)
  • New underwear for boys and girls, all sizes
  • New or gently used clothes, all sizes
  • Small umbrellas
  • Youth-size ponchos

For Teens

  • Jewelry boxes
  • Makeup
  • Portable CD players
  • Radios with CD players
  • Gift cards for clothing, bath products, music, and perfume

For Adults

  • New make-up products like lipstick, powder, and foundation
  • Curling irons
  • Blow dryers
  • New or gently used adult clothes
  • New underwear and hosiery
  • New robes, nightgowns, and slippers

For the Shelter

  • Single and full-size sheet sets
  • Pillow cases
  • New bed pillows
  • Baby beds, sheets, and blankets
  • Wheelchairs
  • Fold-away beds
  • Gift certificates to fill prescriptions (for pharmacies like Walgreen’s, Target, or CVS)

School Supplies

  • Book bags and backpacks
  • Black marble composition books
  • Spiral notebooks
  • Black and red pens
  • Pencils
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Three-prong folders with pockets

Art Supplies

  • Play-Doh
  • Water colors
  • Colored pencils
  • Pens
  • Yarn
  • String


  • Sketch and coloring boks
  • Action heroes
  • DVDs (child-appropriate)
  • Board games
  • Dress-up sets
  • Toy cooking sets
  • Educational games and toys
  • Dolls

The Metropolitan Center for Women and Children has a 24-hour crisis line for the Greater New Orleans area at 504-837-5400, toll free 1-888-411-1333, or via link 211.  You can fax at 504-828-2893 or email metro@mcwcgno.org

Help Local Animals in Need with Our Pet Drive Benefiting ARNO Shelter

During the holidays, one of the greatest gifts we can give is helping others in need. That’s why 1st Lake Properties is hosting a pet drive benefiting Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) in Elmwood. This no-kill shelter provides comprehensive care to stray and abandoned animals, providing a safe haven while also meeting each animal’s medical and nutritional needs.

We appreciate the hard work ARNO provides for our community each day – but they can’t do it alone. ARNO is in need, and we’d like all of our residents and friends to consider helping. Here are a few ways you can participate in our pet drive, which kicks off today and runs through Dec. 31:

Vega is one of several adoptable animals at Animal Rescue New Orleans. (Photo: ARNO on Facebook)

Adopt an Animal from ARNO

The shelter has many eligible animals who would make loving pets and lifelong pals for local residents. For example, Woodstock, a cat with beautiful markings, is a sweet soul looking for a forever home, and so is Sugar, a tiny adult pup with personality.

You also can foster animals on a temporary basis – this is a great option to test drive life with a new pet while also helping to alleviate the burden of the shelter.  Take a look at our recent post on animal adoption, or visit ARNO’s website for more information. Not ready to adopt or foster? You can…

Donate Your Time

ARNO is looking for volunteers who can assist in animal care, dog walking, kennel and cage cleaning, playing with cats and kittens, and helping with laundry. Volunteering is a great way to spend the weekend with friends and family, especially during the holidays. Plus, volunteering at ARNO counts toward school service hours. If you truly can’t spare the time, no worries. You can…

Donate Goods

In addition to monetary donations and gift cards to Wal-Mart, Petsmart, and Petco, the shelter needs specific goods to help their operations run smoothly and provide the highest quality care for its animals. For dogs, ARNO needs Purina One Dog Chow and Puppy Chow, canned dog food, and four-foot-long leashes. Similarly, their feline residents need Purina One Cat and Kitten Chow in addition to large-size litter pans. Sponges and heavy-duty trash bags (also known as contractor bags) are also items in need at ARNO.

We urge you to make a difference in the lives of animals by participating in this drive. Simply drop off your donations at any 1st Lake office from Dec. 15 through Dec. 31. We look forward to seeing what you bring in!


Home for the Holidays: Adopt a New Pet This December

When we hear the phrase “home for the holidays,” we typically think about friends and family convening together. But what about animals? So many animals in the area are in need of a forever home, and the holiday season sees more pet adoption than any other time of the year. With that in mind, we’d like to share some information about pet adoption. Many of our properties are pet friendly, and our new Bella Ridge community even offers an on-site dog park! Find out more about adopting a pet in time for the holidays:

Before You Adopt

Pets are a big decision. The Louisiana SPCA has provided a comprehensive checklist of things to consider before you adopt a pet, from lifespans to financial commitments. A new furry family member will also require a bit of pet-proofing to your apartment, so be sure to prepare your space for a new animal.


Puppies and kittens are a popular choice for adoptions, but adult animals are often already trained and just as lovable. (Photo courtesy Found Animals Foundation on Flickr)

Holiday Events

The upcoming NOLA ChristmasFest in downtown New Orleans will have adoption specialists from the SPCA on site to answer any questions and expedite the pet adoption process. If you already have a dog, bring him to the Santa Paws pet costume contest and parade on Sunday, Dec. 21. Registration starts at 3:00 p.m., and all proceeds benefit the Louisiana SPCA.

Senior Pets

The Louisiana SPCA honored “Adopt a Senior Pet Month” in November, and although the month is over, we can still consider the benefits of adopting an older pet. Older animals are less likely to be adopted than their kitten and puppy counterparts, but these animals are already housebroken and often have the sweet, mellow temperament that comes with age.

Other Ways to Help

Even if you’re not able to adopt a cat or dog at this time, you can still help organizations like the SPCA provide quality care to animals in need. You can sponsor a specific animal for a more personal experience, or send a general donation. Donations to animal organizations in honor of a friend or family member also make great holiday gifts for the animal lovers in your life.

1st Lake Properties loves animals, too. In fact, we’ll be hosting a Pet Drive from Dec. 15-31. Stay tuned for more details!

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