Natchitoches, Winn, Sabine and Desoto Parishes receive needed funding for services

(Natchitoches, LA) – Company and nonprofit representatives in Natchitoches, Winn, Sabine and Desoto Parishes saw their contributions at work today at an event at Northwestern State University.  Six nonprofit organizations were awarded funding for eight local programs in the areas of education, financial stability, health and essential needs by United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA).

“United Way works to bring groups together to find solutions and work at a community-wide level to address change,” Bruce Willson, President and CEO.  “By giving to United Way of Northwest Louisiana, you can have confidence that your contributions are invested wisely through our allocation grant process.”

The following were awarded funds for programs for 2016:

Career Compass of Louisiana – $4,000
Desoto Healthcare Center – $3,500
Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation – $15,000 (2 programs)
Natchitoches Parish Council on Aging – $7,500
Project Celebration – $10,000
The Food Bank of Central Louisiana – $19,000 (2 programs)

In 2015, more than 800 companies, businesses and organizations, and more than 15,000 individual donors participated in United Way’s Workplace Campaign.  The funds raised each year help children, families, elderly, the homeless, the sick, the abused and the neglected. The 2015 United Way Campaign raised $2.3M and more than 75,000 lives were impacted by programs funded through donated dollars. This year’s grants will help more than 100,000 people.   

“United Way works to address the whole problem. We don’t just work to fix one issue, but all of the challenges a person faces in order to make a difference.  Additionally, we work hard to ensure that the dollars raised in our parishes stay in our parishes to help our neighbors, our friends and our coworkers,” said Lynn Stevens, Chief Operating Officer.

The United Way of Northwest Louisiana will invest more than $1.5M into our communities during 2016 in a 10 parish area.

“The funding from the United Way will allow the Food Bank to expand the Back Pack program and support the Kids Café program which provides evening meals, tutoring, and nutrition education in Natchitoches,” said Jayne Wright-Velez, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Central Louisiana.

Nonprofit Program Descriptions and
United Way funded Programs

Career Compass

Career Compass focuses on post-secondary education enrollment by removing barriers to college. The Program funded by United Way is the College and Career Coaching Program is a program aimed to increase college awareness for 6th – 12th grade students.

Desoto Healthcare Center

Desoto Healthcare Center promotes physical, mental, spiritual, social and emotional well-being of all family members through quality programs. Project P.U.S.H. (Programming, Utilization, Screening, and Health), funded by United Way, is an education and health effort to improve the health outcomes of Desoto Parish residents.

Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation

Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation provides programs and leadership for economic development growth and workforce solutions impacting Natchitoches Parish and surrounding areas. The United Way is funding Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. This program provides books mailed to a child’s home each month. Children are eligible from birth until age five. The second program funded by United Way of Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation is the Natchitoches Parish Education Summer Camps, hosted at NSU. These camps are for middle school students to learn STEM education and career development while inspiring students to value staying in school.

Natchitoches Parish Council on Aging   

The Natchitoches Parish Council on Aging provides services to seniors including Meals on Wheels, commodity distribution, legal services, health and disease education, caregivers, outreach, phone reassurance, transportation, recreation and education.  The Natchitoches Parish Council on Aging Activities and Services is funded this year by United Way and encourages independence and promotes participation to seniors over the age of 55.

Project Celebration       

Project Celebration provides a 24/7 crisis line, outreach, education, medical and court advocacy, counseling, residential and nonresidential services for domestic violence and sexual assault victims.  United Way is funding the Domestic Violence Program provides domestic violence survivors with safe housing, counseling, safety planning, court accompaniment, goal planning, referrals, and help finding affordable housing.

Food Bank of Central Louisiana

The Food Bank of Central Louisiana works to alleviate hunger by acquiring, sorting, storing, and distributing

food and essential items to low-income children and families in the three lower parishes of NWLA. United Way of Northwest Louisiana is funding the BackPack Program, a weekly feeding program, provides identified children who are facing hunger with a child-friendly, nutritious bag of food to eat over the weekend. The program serves Sabine and Natchitoches Parishes.