By Sula Kim
NEW ORLEANS (WDSU) — A New Orleans woman is turning her sorrow into a solution.
Nadia Sanchez’s mother died during a botched carjacking in Gentilly in 2018.
She said, though time has passed, the pain is still there.
“Yeah it’s hard, you have this mindset. ‘OK I’m going to feel better in a year,’ ‘I’ll feel better in two years,’ but it doesn’t really dull in the way you think it will,” Sanchez said.
Her mother Jeannot Plessy was run over and killed by her own Nissan SUV in front of her family three years ago.
The suspects were later captured and convicted, but the tragedy shocked and angered the community.
In her journey toward healing, Sanchez decided to do something.
The idea was sparked during the trial as she got to know the suspects who took her mom’s life.
“They were raised by single moms they experienced a lot of trauma early on that went untreated they didn’t have the right coping mechanisms for things they experienced early in their lives,” Sanchez said.
So she started a nonprofit group called Love Your Neighbor NOLA.
The organization takes donated baby items and distributes them to families in need, especially single moms who are hurting financially.
The organization also offers emotional support, connecting families with agencies to help them find jobs, education and therapy.
She believes this will help reduce the number of carjacking incidents and other crimes in the city.
Her mother was a pastor known for handing out red beans and rice to homeless people at Washington Square Park.
Sanchez says her nonprofit group is a way of continuing that tradition so her mother’s love for the community lives on.
“What she started out with I’m going to make it bigger and make it more meaningful and have a purpose and connect back to what happened to her.
I can’t fix what happened to my mom I can’t change it I wish I could, I can’t turn back the hands of time but maybe I can change the outcome for someone else. Maybe I can be a light in the community.” Sanchez said.
To donate baby clothes or other items to Sanchez’s nonprofit group, click here for more information.
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