Fundraiser looks to provide positive experience for Louis Manor residents at Museum of the Gulf Coast

Published 12:34 am Friday, March 17, 2023

Shanderay Aitkens wants to treat The Women of the Manor to a memorable time next week.

Aitkens is the founder of Manor:1, which is a project to make a difference in the lives of the residents at Louis Manor Trust Apartments. She works with the men, women and children; and for this upcoming event plans to rent a limousine and bring up to 10 female residents to the Museum of the Gulf Coast.

While there, the women will be able to tour the museum and see a painting by resident Dornett Jackson that is on display.

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Aitkens said many of the residents at the complex have never experienced a ride in a limo unless it was for a funeral, adding at those times you are in grief.

She wants the women to have a full experience complete with an upscale atmosphere so she’s looking to have refreshments included.

“Usually when people go out on a night on the town, those who can afford to rent a limo or between business deals in corporate America, they do a lot of that in the back of the limo, refreshments,” Aitkens said.

Aitkens has set up a GoFundMe page titled “Manor:1” with the hopes of raising $1,000 to cover the cost of the ride, a tip and refreshments.

“This is something that I think might give them the idea that, ‘hey, I want to do this for myself one day’ and they’ll have that experience of their own,” she said.

Aitkens is working to help change the perception of the apartment complex as well as improve the lives of the residents. She hosts informational meetings for residents and life skills coaching.

As of late, she has seen a positive change.

“I’m excited to know that they can view themselves differently than in the beginning,” Aitkens said. “At a small glance, only children’s trash can be found on the ground these days. It used to be adult beer bottles and cigarette boxes and drug paraphernalia. This is progress.”