For nonprofit organizations that help those in need, Mardi Gras season brings more than parades and merriment. Bridge House/Grace House, Arc of Greater New Orleans and St. Michael Special School celebrate Carnival season year-round with programs to recycle Mardi Gras beads and employ people in recovery or with disabilities.
These organizations accept bead donations throughout the year and then sort, package and sell the beads. It is estimated that riders in super krewes throw an average of 2,500 pounds of beads per person. These numbers add up in proceeds towards the organizations supporting community members in need.