Your gift to United Way of Southeast Louisiana helps break down barriers and create opportunities for every person in our community to be healthy, educated, and financially stable. Keep reading for examples of how your donation is changing lives.
You’re Helping People Like Elizabeth Stay Fed
Since the onset of the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of our neighbors suddenly found themselves in need of food assistance, many for the first time.
Elizabeth* lost her home in Katrina and had been living in an increasingly expensive apartment in Metairie ever since. The pandemic’s impacts left her facing a food shortage at a time when she was also experiencing personal financial struggles.
Elizabeth visited a Second Harvest emergency food distribution, funded with help from United Way, to help feed her family and make ends meet. Her words share the sentiment heard countless times since March, “I never thought I would need to visit a food pantry, but God is good, and we will get through this. Thank you for this blessing.”
You’re Helping People Overcome Odds to Stay Healthy
Washington Parish's cancer survivorship program, led by the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans with funding from United Way, started as an educational support group to improve the lives of local cancer patients and has blossomed into a parish-wide beautification project. Today, We CAN-CERvive's members are organizing two community fundraising events and planning gardening and tree planting projects at the Franklinton, Enon, and Bogalusa libraries.
Even in the face of COVID-19, the group continued to flourish. Without access to high-speed internet in the parish, the members found an online meeting platform to allow them to continue supporting each other along their cancer journeys. Through We CAN-CERvive's efforts, United Way and CAGNO are ensuring residents of Washington Parish lead healthy lives in communities they are proud to call home.
Image credit: Bogalusa YMCA. Mural in We CAN-CERvive garden
You’re Helping People Like James Thrive
James* was considered a diamond in the rough by many – a typically shy and quiet individual with special needs. He enjoyed his weekly trip to the bowling alley with his STARC of Louisiana peers and especially loved the chance to put his knack for tossing strikes on display. But outside of these visits, James mostly kept to himself in his quiet home.
Thanks to United Way funding, STARC offered James a position in its Center-Based Supported Employment Program, helping to package flatware.
Today, James serves as his team's quality control leader and requires little supervision in his daily tasks. He works hard every week to earn his paycheck to not only help him afford basic needs but also to provide stability and meaning to his life, which were once missing.
"A diamond does not start out sparkling; it needs to be polished to shine. [James] continues to add facets to his skill set, thanks to his participation in Supported Employment work and other STARC activities." –STARC Staff
*Names have been changed for client privacy