National Volunteer Week

From Monday, April 18th through Friday, April 22nd, we celebrated National Volunteer Week with a video recognition series honoring volunteers who stepped up during disaster response.

From local pastors to law enforcement, the volunteers being recognized come from all walks of life and many different industries and communities.

To hear these volunteers’ inspiring stories, visit us on Facebook at @UnitedWayofNortheastLouisiana or visit our YouTube Channel here.
Thank you to ALL our amazing community volunteers!
Special thanks to our featured volunteers:

Kristen Shambro, Centric Federal Credit Union | View Kristen's Interview
Kim Lowery, United Way of Northeast Louisiana | View Kim's Interview
Chaniquel Miller, United Way NELA 211 | View Chaniquel's Interview
Brenda Sittig, United Way NELA 211 | View Brenda's Interview
Jessica Hughes, UWNELA VolunteerUNITED | View Jessica's Interview
Chris Williams, ULM Greek Life | View Chris' Interview
Julia Oubre & Nick Johnson, ULM Greek Life | View Julia & Nick's Interview
Dahlia Wooten, Ascent Monroe | View Dahlia's Interview
Whitney Carr, Ascent Monroe | View Whitney's Interview
Akasha Green, Ascent Monroe | View Akasha's Interview
Pastor Harris Bond, Ouachita Presbyterian Church | View Harris' Interview
Kay Bishop, McClendon Baptist Church | View Kay's Interview
Pastors Michael Wood & Mark Fenn, First West | View Michael & Mark's Interview
Pastor George Lee, Temple Baptist & The Springs.Life | View George's Interview
Brittany McNamara, KTVE 10 KARD 14 myarklamiss | View Brittany's Interview
Chief Deputy Mark Mashaw, OPSO | View Mark's Interview
Amy Stegall, City of Ruston | View Amy's Interview
Meghan Jones, United Way of Northeast Louisiana | View Meghan's Interview
2022 Campaign Cabinet Announcement
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is observed across the nation to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it. Along with our partner The Wellspring and collaborative partner Pine Hills Advocacy Center, both Accredited Sexual Assault Centers, we are raising awareness about sexual assault by joining in the efforts to end violence. Here are several ways you can join us:

  • Follow The Wellspring and Pine Hills Advocacy Center on social media.
  • Support survivors of sexual assault by wearing jeans Wednesday, April 27th for Denim Day. Take a picture and share it on social media. Make sure to use the hashtag #denimday. Be sure to watch United Way NELA's Facebook and Instagram for our staff's denim day participation!

  • The Wellspring offers support groups to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Their domestic violence support group meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. For more information about the domestic violence support group, call (318) 998-6030.
  • The Wellspring's sexual assault support group meets every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month from 5-6 p.m. at the Counseling & Family Development Center (CFDC). The CFDC is located at 1904 Royal Avenue in Monroe. Both groups do not meet on holidays.
  • If you are in danger, call 911 now. Or, call The Wellspring's 24-hour help line at (318) 323-1505 or Toll Free at 1-888-411-1333 for help.

  • Pine Hills Sexual Assault Center provides emotional support to all victims of sexual assault in Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson, Lincoln, Union Parishes, regardless of whether they choose to report the crime to law enforcement.
  • The Sexual Assault Center supplies a medical escort who will accompany the sexual assault survivor to the hospital and remain with them during the examination, evidence collection and statement to law enforcement.
  • The Center provides short-term crisis intervention counseling on an individual basis to the survivor of sexual assault/abuse and any non-offending family members.
  • The Sexual Assault Center assists in securing extended counseling services within the community for clients.
  • The Center provides a 24-Hour Crisis Hotline to all individuals in the five parish area.
  • Contact: 117 S. Trenton St., Ruston, LA | 24-hour Hotline: (318) 255-7273
From Ready4K: Benefits of Play (for Grown-Ups!)

Remember back to when you were a child. Those days when you’d lose yourself in an activity. Maybe it was physical play outside with friends. Maybe it was an object, like a doll or car or building set that inspired you to imagine. 
I can still conjure the feeling of playing with my sister in a little cabinet under the bathroom sink. We spent hours crammed in that tiny space pretending it was a submarine, a bakery, a lab. Each time we’d emerge I remember feeling like I’d just come back from a secret vacation. Totally happy and exhausted. YOU can have that feeling back. 

Are you ready to play? Read more HERE!
Faces of 211: LaToya Woods

This month's Face of 211 is LaToya Woods. LaToya serves as the Louisiana 211 Referral and Care Coordinator.

LaToya oversees the Louisiana 211 Referral and Care Coordination Program, which proposes strategies to service needs in the community by providing life changing resources.

LaToya graduated cum laude while receiving her Masters of Social Work Degree from Grambling State University. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology as well as an Associate of Arts degree. LaToya’s work history demonstrates her willingness to advocate for those with minimal or no voice. She has been involved with Hospice of Caring Hearts, Louisiana Methodist Children Home, Foster Care and Family Services with the Department of Children and Family Services, and most notably, the Master Social Worker for Women and children, responsible for the NICU, PICU, Pediatrics, Labor and Delivery, OB/GYN and Newborn Nursery at St. Francis Medical Center located in Monroe, LA. LaToya received The Franscian Award during her time at St. Francis Medical Center.

LaToya, her husband, and their three wonderful children reside in West Monroe, LA. She prides herself on integrity and ethical fairness. LaToya not only serves the community she works in but all communities; she treats everyone with love and respect they deserve.
An Introduction to ALICE in Focus: Children

During the Week of the Young Child earlier this month, the ALICE in Focus: Children research brief was launched for Louisiana – which reveals that while 26% of all children were in poverty in 2019, another 31% were ALICE. Combined, 57% of children in our state were living in financial hardship just before the pandemic hit. Stephanie Hoopes, Ph.D., United for ALICE National Director, explains what other insights you can gain from the new brief and online dashboards.
From SingleCare: 5 Things Women Should Know About Heart Health

Unfortunately, it often takes longer than it should for women to get diagnosed with heart disease. Here are 5 things that you should know about women's heart health from our partner SingleCare.
Read on for more information!
Are you 40 years old or younger? Looking for a way to get involved in the community?
Young Leaders UNITED may be the place for you!

Young Leaders UNITED, a collaborative of United Way of Northeast Louisiana, launched in the summer of 2021. Through volunteer, social, and career development opportunities, members of Young Leaders UNITED develop skills, knowledge, and a relationship with United Way NELA to create lasting change for generations to come through their engagement with Young Leaders UNITED and United Way NELA. They also have the opportunity to cultivate philanthropic giving alongside impact work.

For more information about United Way of Northeast Louisiana’s Young Leaders UNITED, text YLU to 91999 or contact
Is your workplace or group interested in volunteer opportunities?
We can help!

Whether it’s a one-day activity or long-term team-building project, VolunteerUNITED is available to assist you through the entire process.

Our customized options are organized to support United Way of Northeast Louisiana’s community impact work in education, financial stability, and health, all while meeting your organization’s community engagement goals.

To build a volunteer project best suited to your group or company's needs, call 211 or email
Connect with us!
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