• Mary-Claire Johnson

Mike's Donation: Leveraging His Resources to Help His Community Thrive

When most people think about giving back to their community, the first thing that comes to mind is donating money or participating in volunteer work. These modes of graciousness are very much appreciated, but when we approach giving back with an open mind and open hands there are many options to give back to your community and allow others to grow from your donation, whether it is your time, your expertise, or your finances. 


This month, Thrive New Orleans received a substantial donation from Michael (Mike) Valentino, the owner of the Valentino family’s five hotels, the Basin St. Station Tourist Center, and City Sightseeing New Orleans Hop-On Hop-Off tours, but it wasn’t a monetary donation. 


Mike donated an entire floor of beautiful office furniture from the Basin St. Station to our organization, including desks, tables, lamps, and chairs. Thrive 9th Ward was granted a new conference table for one of the community centers conference rooms. Executive Director to Thrive 9th Ward, Oscar Brown, commented on the donation, “the conference table was a much needed blessing to our organization. We are very excited.” 


The haul was so large that we were unable to house it all, but nothing went to waste. Valentino’s contribution has benefitted multiple nonprofit organizations, including Launch NOLA, and Thrive 9th Ward, as well as local churches, St Roch Community Church and Union Baptist Seminary, which had been effected by the city's recent flooding.


Executive Director to Thrive New Orleans, Chuck Morse, says that Mike Valentino has been a generous, close partner with Thrive New Orleans for years. “He’s been a supporter and a friend for many years, and he has been a great asset to our organization.” Morse says that Valentino has donated to multiple Thrive New Orleans organizations over the years, like furniture to Restoration Thrift on multiple occasions and event spaces for Launch NOLA events. 


Chuck said that Mike Valentino “is a great guy that loves giving back to the community, that’s just who he is.” And we all agree and appreciate the generous donation that meant so much. Mike Valentino mentioned that the donation was a “valuable endeavor” that was facilitated successfully by Morse to give back to his community.


Every time someone chooses to leverage their life to serve others, it creates a ripple effect of good charity. For business owners like Micheal Valentino, giving back to local nonprofits is a sure way to know that your money is being used for the right reasons. Any donation, big or small, makes a huge difference in our organization, whether it be a lesson from a Launch Alumni to a class of new entrepreneurs, a couple of hours of work from a volunteer eager to make a difference, or an entire floor of furniture!

Conference table at Thrive 9th Ward Community Center donated by Micheal Valentino

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