Below are links to your one stop resource for media professionals in support of getting the word out about United Way of Northwest Louisiana. If you are a member of the media and would like to speak with us, please contact:
LaToria W. Thomas, Vice President of Resource Development
318-677-2504, Ext. 136
How United Way Began (A Woman, a Priest, Two Ministers and a Rabbi… )
In 1887, a Denver woman, a priest, two ministers and a rabbi got together… It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but they didn’t walk into a bar; what they did do was recognize the need to work together in new ways to make Denver a better place.
Frances Wisebart Jacobs, the Rev. Myron W. Reed, Msgr. William J. O’Ryan, Dean H. Martyn Hart and Rabbi William S. Friedman put together an idea that became the nation’s first united campaign, benefitting 10 area health and welfare agencies. They created an organization to collect the funds for local charities, to coordinate relief services, to counsel and refer clients to cooperating agencies, and to make emergency assistance grants for cases that could not be referred. That year, Denver raised $21,700 for this greater good, and created a movement that would become United Way.
In Northwest Louisiana
United Way of Northwest Louisiana was established in 1921 by the Rotary Club of Shreveport, now known as the Downtown Rotary. Initially, the organization was known as the “Community Chest” like in the board game Monopoly.
Since its first fundraising campaign, the organization has undergone many changes and grown significantly to provide funding for numerous programs throughout Northwest Louisiana. Through the years it has had several names and has grown significantly to engage over 15,000 individuals and employees annually to support nonprofit programs.
Not Your Grandfather’s United Way
United Way still provides solutions to communities’ toughest problems. But we’re not your grandfather’s United Way.
Today’s United Way is bringing people, organizations and communities together around a common cause, a common vision, and a common path forward. In many communities, we’re the only nonprofit building up the cornerstones of education, financial stability, health, and essential needs—and the only nonprofit bringing people together from all walks of life to be a part of local solutions.
United Way of Northwest Louisiana focuses efforts on measurable community impact programs. Each of the funding priorities are reviewed annually with respect to our strategic goals. United Way of Northwest Louisiana operates several internal programs including:
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program
Bank On Northwest Louisiana
FamilyWize Prescription Assistance program
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
Volunteer Center of NWLA
United Way’s Nonprofit Executive Academy
Sights and Sounds Eye Glasses and Hearing Aid Fund
My Free Taxes
Emergency Food and Shelter Program
Disaster Assistance Program
Webster, Bienville, Claiborne Center