Al Andry wears many hats. You may see him dressed as Santa Claus and helping special children. He can also be seen providing refrigerators or microwaves needed by many of the teachers to serve the need of special food preparations and diets for disabled students. “Mr. Al,” as he is affectionately called, may also be seen taking some of his surrogate children to football and baseball games as well as boxing matches.
Andry has devoted his life to helping the needs of special children for the past 27 years. He and his wife, Elaine, founded Special Children are Privileged (SCAP), and he gives a personal account of every cent donated to the organization. Solely volunteers operate SCAP and no one is paid a salary. There is no need to pay rent as they operate the organization out of their home.
Andry seeks community partners who are willing to help him and SCAP meet the needs of children in Louisiana. Most of the children he works with are limited with regards to their extra curricular activities, but SCAP works to change that. They normally work with a budget of $10,000 to $12,000 per year, but they make each dollar count.
SCAP has made it possible for the children to play putt-putt golf, ride go-carts, have Easter egg hunts and have special holiday wishes granted. Andry has also been instrumental in getting hot water heaters, a washer and dryer, computers, education materials and supplies, and numerous other items donated to Enon Elementary School so they can provided a safer, healthier school environment. He has also assisted the Happy Trails Therapeutic Center. They also serve special needs children, and Andry has helped with fundraising so they can continue to operate.
Andry seems to spend most of his waking hours seeking ways to serve underprivileged children. He also finds clothes for a child and their family, shoes for children at the Agape Children’s Home, and he sells raffle tickets to help raise money for schools or other worthy causes. He believes he shares a rainbow of love through SCAP. Their motto is “handicap is not a defeat, but a challenge to conquer with love, faith, and understanding.”
SCAP has touched the community in so many ways since its inception in 1981. They have received letters of thanks from the Pope, President Ronald Reagan, Sandra Day O’Connor, Bob Livingston, and Mrs. Jim Finks-widow of the late Mr. Finks of the New Orleans Saints. Andry grew up in the Iberville Project in New Orleans, and he knew poverty. However, he is working to help children have a better start than he did. He and Elaine initially mortgaged their home four years ago to get the initial funds to start SCAP. They receive no federal or state help, only donations from other areas.