by | Oct 1, 2020 | Blog Post, In The News, News Releases, Uncategorized | 0 comments

For the first time, United Way will kick off our annual campaign on October 1st without the aid of a large fundraising event. In past years, we would host the Annual Campaign Kickoff event as a rally to start the fundraising season.

This year has been a huge struggle for so many in our community, and United Way is no exception. While fundraising and corporate giving for us is down, our work has never been more necessary.
Dr. Bruce Willson

President & CEO

Even though this year has proven challenging, we are optimistic that the community will come together to provide the resources that are important to so many throughout Northwest Louisiana. Corporate partners such as AEP SWEPCO, CenterPoint, IP Mansfield, Atmos Energy, and many more have already launched their annual fundraising activities. While this is exciting, other corporate partners will be unable to participate in the 2020 United Way Campaign due to layoffs, furloughed employees, economic instability, and more, making it difficult for us to reach this year’s $1.3 million fundraising goal.

COVID-19 has also significantly impacted our campaign model.

Click the image to view the 2019 Annual Report

We’ve updated our website and created online resources to overcome the inability to hold face-to-face campaign events at workplaces. We find that it’s the personal connection with our donors however, that helps us fundraise for our internal programs and the dozens of community programs we support. Current restrictions will hinder us from making those connections.
LaToria Thomas

Vice President of Resource Development

We have one primary message that we want to convey, COVID-19 may be front and center on everyone’s mind, but all of the issues we had before the pandemic are still here. ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families continue to struggle to make ends meet. COVID-19 and more recently, the hurricanes are only making these financial issues worse.

At the beginning of the pandemic, we did not close programs; we increased them. In March, Louisiana 211, health and human services hotline, expanded its calls and texting capabilities to respond to requests for assistance related to COVID-19. In April, we launched the United for NWLA Fund, an emergency assistance fund that has provided over $50,000 to individuals and families affected financially by the pandemic. In May, the Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) began welcoming new clients to offer one-to-one financial counseling services. To date, the FEC has helped clients reduce over $50,000 in debt. Over the past six months, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has increased the number of children enrolled in the program.

To help us reach our ambitious campaign goal this year and provide much needed programs and services to the community, donations to the 2020 campaign can be made online here. If your company wants to become a corporate partner, contact LaToria Thomas at tori@unitedwaynwla.org or (318)606-6589.

Now more than ever, United Way of Northwest Louisiana FIGHTS for our community! This has been a challenging year for many, and we are answering the call for help. JOIN THE FIGHT today!