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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

500 Junior League volunteers
from 199 U.S. cities, Canada and the United Kingdom joined local Junior Leaguers to help clean up and restore neighborhoods across New Orleans last week. A total of 700 League members and supporters worked on various projects in the Freret area, City Park, the Ninth Ward and Treme. Work in Freret and City Park included landscaping, and all the neighborhoods saw volunteers restoring homes, planting community gardens and launching beautification projects.

Fore!Kids Foundation
has selected nine local agencies to share a $1 million grant from the Bush Clinton Katrina Fund. Fore!Kids was awarded the Bush Clinton money to help local children's charities that deal with mental health, childcare and early education, special needs, and safety and recreation for kids. The local agencies selected by Fore!Kids will received between $40,000 and $80,000 a year for two years, and two additional agencies will receive one-time funding for equipment and supplies.

Nu-Lite Electrical Wholesalers,
New Orleans' largest independent electrical distributor, has enlisted many of its suppliers to help create the "Energizing New Orleans" program that will generate donations to local charities and institutions. Nu-Lite will donate a percentage of all sales of participating manufacturers' products at Nu-Lite branches through Dec. 25. Among the local beneficiaries of the program is Children's Hospital in New Orleans, which saw several of its clinics flooded and damaged by Katrina's winds.

Emergency Management Services,
the out-of-state contractor hired by the Louisiana Recovery Authority to administer the "Road Home" program, will have collected more than $87 million in fees by the end of this month from the state — but as of last week had given out less than $620,000 to only 13 homeowners under the $7.5 billion post-Katrina recovery program. Hundreds more households are set to receive a total of $10.6 million, but that's still a pitiful record in light of how much money ICF has collected in fees already.

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