United Way of Southeast Louisiana is creating lasting change by fighting for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. We’ve been tackling our community’s most pressing challenges for over 95 years, and your support is needed now more than ever during the COVID-19 crisis.
MY CHILDREN WERE WATCHING
Lisa* dropped out of school in ninth grade because she lacked a support system to encourage her to stay in.
Years later, after the birth of her third child, she decided it was time to turn her life around.
Lisa joined the YMCA of Greater New Orleans’ adult education & workforce development program (YES!), funded by United Way of Southeast Louisiana, to begin working toward her high school equivalency diploma. Extreme life challenges – the loss of her home to a fire, a neck surgery, and the tragic murder of her cousin - threatened to throw Lisa off track, but she stayed the course.
Three years later, Lisa received her diploma and enrolled in school to become a certified dental assistant. When asked how she persevered, her answer was simple – my children were watching.
You can Help Create Pathways to Prosperity for Thousands
United Way of Southeast Louisiana helped ensure the educational opportunities Lisa needed were available. Why? We believe education is one of the best ways to place individuals on a path to prosperity and lift the entire community.
The ALICE Report tells us that nearly half of households in our region are struggling to get by, which means too many children face complex barriers to success in school - like food insecurity, exposure to trauma, and lagging literacy skills. As Lisa’s story demonstrates, the lack of a solid education creates further challenges into adulthood.
That’s why education is a key component of roughly a third of the programs United Way funds across our seven-parish region. When you make a gift to United Way, you are not only helping Lisa but also thousands of others, from our earliest learners to adults – gain the knowledge and skills they need to thrive.
WHEN THE CABINETS ARE BARE
Betty* never thought she’d need help putting food on the table. The 69-year-old's life took an unexpected turn when a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis forced to retire from her job as a social worker and community organizer and begin using a wheelchair.
Betty knew about the food pantry in her area supported by Second Harvest Food Bank but had never visited. “...I felt like, 'well, I really don't need to go, I can take care of me.’ But one day I found myself without even any fruit or anything in the cabinet, and I came in," Betty said.
Now Betty receives fresh produce and nutritious foods from the food pantry and volunteers twice a week to help others like her. Funding organizations like Second Harvest is one way United Way working to ensure no one is forced to choose between necessities like food and medicine, a situation that is all too common for nearly half of households in our community who struggle to make ends meet.
You Can Change Thousands of Lives
We need your support to make sure help is available for those who need it most. Because of the unique way United Way leverages gifts, your donation will help not only Betty but thousands of others like her stabilize their lives today and work toward a better tomorrow.
There’s no single solution to eradicating poverty in our seven-parish region. That’s why we focus on a holistic approach that includes funding on-the-ground programs, advocating for smart public policy, mobilizing volunteers, and initiating new collaborations.
*Names have been changed for client privacy