United Way, Simply Put

I have a question for you. If you could help one person get on their feet so they could live a safer, more prosperous life, would you?  What if I suggested you could help more than one person?  What about thousands? Read on and let me know your answer when you finish.

As we approach the close of United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Annual Giving Campaign, I pause each year to reflect on the nature of philanthropy and its distinct ability to drive collective impact. Simply put, United Way is uniquely positioned to bring together people to create solutions and provide funding and support to tackle our region’s most pressing challenges.

Natalie* and her two children were living in poverty after escaping an abusive relationship. They moved around to different friends’ homes, but were often not welcome more than a week. It was difficult for Natalie to find steady employment, as she would have to coordinate child care.

After they spent several days living in Natalie's car and bathing out of public restrooms, she became desperate. Desperate for a steady job. Desperate for reliable child care. Desperate for support. 

United Way makes our communities stronger. 

We make kids better students. We make households more financially capable. We make more opportunities for high-wage  jobs. We make better, more equitable access for everyone to the things that make our lives, our neighborhoods, and our communities safer and healthier. 

United Way makes your dollar work smarter. 

We help agencies that are already excellent service providers become members of our collective impact movement. We find experts partners who are aligned with our Blueprint for Prosperity and believe in collaborations and accountability for measurable results. We make more significant changes than any one of us could accomplish on our own when we come together for the same reason with the same goal – eradicating poverty. 

United Way makes pathways to prosperity.

Natalie knew she needed assistance to get her family back on stable ground. Without it, she might struggle in poverty for years to come. With the help of a friend, Natalie came to Jewish Family Services of Greater New Orleans (JFS), a UWSELA funded agency. 

A JFS case manager met with Natalie to assess her needs. The case manager helped Natalie find affordable childcare and promising job prospects, apply for SNAP benefits, access trauma counseling, and coordinate affordable living for her family.

Even though Natalie and her children struggled significantly, they are now on a pathway to prosperity thanks to the coordinated support of United Way and our partner agencies. And if we are to ensure more families like Natalie’s have a shot at achieving stability, both financially and emotionally, we must continue to support United Way’s holistic approach to building a better, brighter Southeast Louisiana for all. 

It’s quite simple – you make the difference. When you invest in your community through United Way, YOU HELP more children get ready to learn and stay on track in school. YOU HELP more individuals lead more financially stable lives. YOU HELP more people become eligible for living wages. YOU HELP more people like Natalie.

Our 2018-19 Campaign closes on March 29, and we need your dollars more than ever. Thank you to those of you who already pledged a contribution, and to those of you who are considering making a gift, please keep Natalie and others who need your assistance in mind. Without your generosity, we would not be able to support the almost 240,000 households in our region that are struggling to survive

We only have one life to live. To live better, we must LIVE UNITED

*Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals

Michael Williamson

President & CEO

United Way of Southeast Louisiana