I wanted to reach out to you today to give an update on Hurricane Laura and its effects on the region. 

As of Monday, August 31, SWEPCO announced that approximately 10,000 households in Shreveport-Bossier and an additional 34,000 in the rural and central Louisiana parishes are still without power.  We’ve reached out to the ten Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) directors in our service region.  Most directors have reported minimal to no additional services needed at this time. We anticipate the immediate need for our region will be to help families replace groceries damaged/spoiled due to loss of power.  We will make adjustments to the United for NWLA Fund, United Way’s emergency relief fund, to allow applicants to apply for emergency food assistance.  

Also, I participated on a Louisiana Association of United Ways Emergency Response call to discuss statewide emergency assistance needs. As you can imagine, our friends in Southwest and Central Louisiana are not faring as well as we are.  My colleague, Denise Durel, President & CEO of United Way of Southwest Louisiana, provided a list of the top needs: water for cleaning and drinking (pallets of water bottles, water tanks, water filtering), tarps, cleaning supplies to clear debris (trash bags, dumpsters, gloves, rakes, brooms, etc.) and gasoline.  United Way of Northwest Louisiana donated $5,000 to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services to provide displaced families, currently housed in Shreveport-Bossier, transportation, food, clothes or essential needs assistance.

If you and your company would like to contribute the United for NWLA Fund to help provide the much needed food assistance, please contact Tori Thomas at tori@unitedwaynwla.org or go to www.unitedwaynwla.org/unitedfornwla to make a monetary donation. If you are looking to assist Southwest Louisiana, Jennifer Horton, Vice President of Operations and Community Investments will help to coordinate efforts. 

Thank you again for all you do for our community. Thank you for Living United. 


Dr. Bruce Willson Jr.
President & CEO, United Way of NOrthwest Louisiana