Wuerffel Scores Post-Katrina Touchdown for Desire Street Ministries

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The hurricane could have benched the entire program, but Desire Street Ministries ran a new play, all the way from New Orleans to Niceville, Florida.

The end of hurricane season spells relief for many Americans, but relief work for Desire Street Ministries (DSM) and their Director of Development Danny Wuerffel doesn’t end on Nov. 30, the season’s official last day.

Founded in 1990 by Rev. Mo Leverett, DSM has transformed the lives of hundreds of youngsters and their families, creating a community of hope and healing in the most challenging of urban environments, a crime-riddled housing project in the New Orleans inner city.

In 1997 Heisman trophy winner Danny Wuerffel discovered Leverett and the people of DSM and was hooked. Two years ago, he retired from the NFL and devoted himself full time to this dynamic organization of community outreach and Christian discipleship. “Our vision has always been to create a vibrant and healthy community in the Desire neighborhood,” says Wuerffel, who refuses to let a hurricane destroy his optimism or faith. “I believe God is opening the door for us to do more than we ever imagined in the city.”

Wuerffel’s unselfish dedication to DSM and New Orleans is greatly admired by many people, including William J. Chatlos, president of The Chatlos Foundation. Chatlos, who earlier this month suggested that Americans could celebrate the end of hurricane season by donating to relief organizations, points out that DSM and Danny Wuerffel are just the type of recipients we all should consider supporting. Chatlos observes, “It takes a special kind of organization to find a silver lining in such a disaster.”

The silver lining he refers to is the rebirth of Desire Street Academy, a Christian high school for boys. Leaving their three-year-old mud-caked school behind, the staff and almost 80 students resumed classes on Oct. 3 in their temporary home, a boarding school at a 4-H camp in the Florida panhandle. “Coming to Danny Wuerffel Country has its advantages,” says Leverett, DSM’s Executive Director. “Danny has been flexing some rather large muscles on behalf of the ministry, and we’re extremely grateful for the extension of his accomplished reputation to benefit the poor and needy of New Orleans.”

In its fifteen years, Desire Street Ministries has accomplished the impossible, building a new church, a pediatric clinic, and a multi-million dollar high school in one of the country’s most impoverished areas. Wuerffel rejoices that “the structure of our building is predominately concrete and looks to be salvageable.” Even after hurricane season ends on Nov. 30, Desire Street Ministries will rebuild and continue to grow. As Leverett explains, “The camp site is a temporary solution to a long-term strategy to board and educate the young men of the 9th ward of New Orleans.”

Chatlos admires the people of DSM, saying, “Danny Wuerffel and the Desire Street Ministries team scored a touchdown by opening a boarding school in Niceville.” He urges concerned Americans to help Desire Street Ministries rebuild, so it can continue to reach out to those “who are in need of both physical and spiritual support and encouragement.”

On December 1, celebrate the end of hurricane season by clasping your hands in thanksgiving, Wuerffel-style. And when you unclasp them, write a check to an organization that continues to help so many others still in need.

To learn more about Desire Street Ministries and make a donation, visit http://www.desirestreet.org/.

About The Chatlos Foundation:

The Chatlos Foundation funds nonprofit organizations in the USA. Support is provided to organizations currently exempt by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States. The Foundation's areas of interest are: Bible Colleges/Seminaries, Religious Causes, Medical Concerns, Liberal Arts, and Social Concerns. The Chatlos Foundation, Inc. is a private, philanthropic foundation and does not solicit or accept donations from the general public.


CJ Leff

The Chatlos Foundation



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