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United Way NELA seeks donations amid trying year

United Way of Northeast Louisiana has been a pillar in the community for over 64 years, working with volunteers, donors, and other organizations locally to create lasting community change in the areas of education, health, and financial stability—the building blocks for a good quality of life. But in 2020, responding to emergency needs in the 12-parish region kept United Way busier than ever before.
 
“2020 has been extraordinarily difficult,” said Amy Sawyer, United Way NELA Board Chair. “From a global pandemic to two natural disasters, we have all been affected in some way, whether big or small. In each disaster, United Way responded, just like we always do and will continue to do for our community.”
 
But the challenges faced by the rest of Northeast Louisiana have also affected United Way. “2020 has been financially difficult for United Way, as it has been for many others in our community. In 2019, 82% of total campaign funds came from workplace giving–these were people who gave every month by payroll deduction. With so many workplaces affected this year, United Way’s financial stability is at stake as well,” said Corre Stegall, United Way NELA Campaign Chair for Lincoln-Union-Jackson Parishes. “Your giving is needed now more than ever to continue the vital services that depend on United Way’s support.”
 
Over 40 community programs, collaboratives, and initiatives rely on a portion of United Way funding to help serve the local community. Additionally, 98% of all dollars raised in Northeast Louisiana stays in Northeast Louisiana. “United Way does so many great things for our community,” said Michael Ryan, United Way NELA Regional Campaign Chair. “Our campaign dollars help address issues such as reducing hunger in school children and reducing homelessness in our area, two issues that could be in jeopardy as we move forward.” United Way campaign funds are projected to be down $953,000 in 2020. While United Way is doing its best to reach as many workplace campaigns and donors as possible, COVID-19 restrictions, among others, make the task more challenging than previous years.
“Now, more than ever, United Way of Northeast Louisiana needs your support to do what we do best – help the community respond and recover,” said Janet Durden, President. “We need additional companies to join the other 166 companies in our region and run workplace campaigns. If your company is interested, visit unitedwaynela.org/about to learn how to get started.”
 
Individuals who are interested in giving a gift outside of a workplace campaign can donate at unitedwaynela.org. Any amount is welcome; however, Leadership Giving levels are as follows:
• Bayou Society: $500-$999
• Steamboat Society: $1,000-$9,999
• Tocqueville Society: $10,000 & Up
 
To learn more about United Way of Northeast Louisiana’s current work in the community or to make a donation, visit unitedwaynela.org or contact Janet Durden, President, by emailing jdurden@unitedwaynela.org or calling 318-325-3869.
 

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