Eva Jacob Barkoff for Dec. 6, 2012

Does this seem a little like déjà vu to any of you? It sure does to me.

I am happy to be back, writing a weekly column I am calling “Around Jefferson,” covering the people and events that make our home, Jefferson Parish, so special.

Throughout my 34½-year newspaper career, I have met many, many wonderful people and covered some great stories throughout the New Orleans area, particularly in this parish. And I hope to do the same thing again on the pages of this new weekly section the New Orleans edition of The Advocate is calling “Community.”

So with that said, you can reach me via email at ej
barkoff@gmail.com. Please email me at least two weeks prior to your events and programs. Be sure to include the name of the organization, the day, time and place of the event, the admission fee (if there is a fee), and a daytime phone number people can call for more information.

Also, if you know of any local residents — young people from area schools, teachers, members of local civic and community groups, churches, synagogues, as well as those individuals from our area who are doing good things in and for our community, please tell me about them.

It’s good to be back, and I am looking forward to hearing from all of you again.

Now let’s get started.

Clothing drive under way

Victory Life/Iglesia Hispana, 545 Florida Ave., Kenner, is holding a clothing drive for patients of a rehabilitation center in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Jose Hidalgo, who is organizing the event, said the center is for men who are struggling with addictions to drugs and alcohol. He said items collected will be given as Christmas gifts to those living at the center.

Items needed include men’s shirts size small, medium and large; pants size 28, 30 and 32; and dress or tennis shoes sizes seven, eight and nine.

“I am asking that those wishing to participate to donate new items,” Hidalgo said. “We don’t want to give used clothing as Christmas gifts. We want to make the holidays a little better for them by giving each of center residents some new clothes.”

Hidalgo added that gift cards to area stores will also be accepted so that volunteers can purchase clothing and shoes.

Donations will be shipped sometime next week.

If you would like to help or for more information, call Hidalgo at (504) 442-0459 or email him at eltico2004@

Holiday home tour

Metairie Park Country Day School will sponsor its annual Holiday Home Tour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday.

The tour features several homes, all located in Old Metairie. The addresses are 315/317 Cuddihy Drive; 500 Woodvine; 21 Nassau Drive, 71 Pelham Drive, 620 Iona St., and 300 Hector Ave.

Transportation between the homes will be provided.

The tour is $20 per person, cash or check only, and all proceeds benefit Country Day.

Candle Lighting memorial

On Sunday, members of the New Orleans chapter of The Compassionate Friends will participate in the 16th annual World Wide Candle Lighting memorial program at 6:30 p.m. at Lafreniere Park, Downs Blvd., Metairie.

As candles are lit here locally, thousands of people around the country will do the same, commemorating and honoring the memory of child who has died. The candles are lit for one hour for children who died at any age and from any cause.

The Worldwide Candle Lighting ceremony began in the 1997.

The Compassionate Friends is a national nonprofit, self-help support organization that offers friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings. There is no religious affiliation and there are no membership dues or fees.

For more information about Sunday’s event or the local chapter of TCF, send an email to Denise Pezant at denise
pezant@att.net of go to the website www.tcfneworleans.org.

To contact “Around Jefferson” writer Eva Jacob Barkoff, send an email to ejbarkoff@gmail.com.