ArcGNO Mardi Gras Bead Store is Open
NEW ORLEANS — Arc of Greater New Orleans, a local nonprofit that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has opened its Mardi Gras Bead Store for Carnival 2022. The store has a large selection of recycled beads, accessories and collectibles such as doubloons, tutus, purses, jewelry and umbrellas.
ArcGNO works to create — through education, advocacy and support — a greater New Orleans community that includes, accepts and celebrates people with IDD. Every year, the nonprofit’s Mardi Gras Recycling Center, along with other group-based and community employment opportunities, provides jobs to its participants with IDD.
“We’re always excited about Carnival season because it provides us the opportunity to create even more jobs for people with IDD,” said Sandee Williamson, acting executive director of ArcGNO. “But this year is even more exciting for us because this is the first Carnival season where parades will roll since the beginning of the pandemic. We truly enjoy serving the region’s parade and DIY Mardi Gras revelers who support our mission.”
Through its community employment services, ArcGNO coaches and places participants with IDD in community businesses such as Rouses, Mr. Ed’s Oyster House, the U.S. Naval Base and more. Through group employment services, participants with IDD are paid by ArcGNO to service contracts that the nonprofit secures, which includes ground crews, janitorial crews and the Mardi Gras Recycling Center. Participants and volunteers who work at the Mardi Gras Recycling Center sort and package Mardi Gras throws that are later sent to the bead store for future purchases.
The store also has an online boutique where customers can place their order online and pick it up in the store once they’ve been notified it’s ready. To shop online at ArcGNO’s Mardi Gras Bead Store, visit arcgnobeads.org/shop. The Mardi Gras Bead Store is located at 925 S. Labarre and is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. In order to shop at the store, customers must wear a mask and have their temperature checked before entering the building.