Happy New Year!

From all of us at United Way of Northeast Louisiana, we wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2022! Thank you for continuing to partner with us as we work to create lasting change in Northeast Louisiana.
Celebrating Excellence 2021: SAVE THE DATE!

Celebrating Excellence is United Way of Northeast Louisiana's annual celebration of generosity and unwavering community spirit, seeking to honor community partners, campaigns, volunteers, and donors. 

Mark your calendars for this year's events!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022
Bayou Pointe (ULM)
*Breakfast served at 8:00am, Program at 8:30am

Thursday, March 24th, 2022
Davison Athletics Complex (LA Tech)
*Breakfast served at 8:00am, Program at 8:30am

Registration and ticket information coming soon!
MLK Jr. Day: VolunteerUNITED Partners with City of West Monroe

We believe that the best way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy is to serve. Through a partnership with the City of West Monroe, AmeriCorps, and Atmos Energy, our VolunteerUNITED initiative helped pack 140 literacy kits to be delivered to Riverbend Elementary! These kits were delivered on Monday, January 17th. Additionally, volunteers read aloud to 3rd graders to help encourage a love for reading and learning.

It will take everyone working together, year-round, United for equity, United for change to make a difference. Today, honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy by volunteering for equity.
Tax Assistance: VITA, TCE, and MyFreeTaxes

It's tax season! If you or someone you know needs assistance with filing taxes, there are several options available for those who qualify.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program offer free tax help for taxpayers who make $57,000 or less, and persons with disabilities or limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance.

VITA and TCE Sites can be found through the following website: http://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep. Please continue checking the link as sites and services will open up in the coming days and weeks.

MyFreeTaxes.Com is a free online tax preparation service that is a safe, easy way for anyone of any income to file their federal or state taxes. MyFreeTaxes is mobile-friendly so anyone can easily access from their computer, tablet, or smart phone.

Website: MyFreeTaxes.com
Toll Free Telephone: 855-698-9435

Return preparation via MyFreeTaxes began on Tuesday, January 18, 2022. Submission of returns to the IRS opened on January 24, 2022.

As always, for questions or information, call 211 and a Call Specialist will be happy to help you navigate the process.
Love in Action...

We’re so excited to launch our second year of “Love in Action,” a compilation of projects and daily activities to help you and your neighbors spread some extra love during the month of February. Download the full calendar below!

Additionally, United Way will organize weekly service projects for the community to get involved with Love in Action.
Week 1: Can Collection
United Way will be collecting canned goods to donate to Rays of Sonshine’s Community Housing program and Christian Community Action (CCA). All canned goods can be dropped off at 1201 Hudson Lane in Monroe or 939 North Trenton Street in Ruston from January 31st-February 4th between the hours of 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Week 2: Book Drive
United Way will be collecting gently used and NEW preschool aged children’s books to donate to the Children’s Coalition and Christian Community Action (CCA). All books can be dropped off at 1201 Hudson Lane in Monroe or 939 North Trenton Street in Ruston during the week of February 7th-11th between the hours of 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Week 3: Sock Drive
United Way will be collecting socks for DeSiard Street Shelter and Christian Community Action (CCA). All size socks for men/women/children. All socks can be dropped off at 1201 Hudson Lane in Monroe or 939 North Trenton Street in Ruston during the week of February 14th-18th between the hours of 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Week 4: Blanket Drive
United Way will be collecting blankets for Ouachita Council on Aging and Christian Community Action (CCA). Blankets can be dropped off at 1201 Hudson Lane in Monroe or 939 North Trenton Street in Ruston during the week of February 21st-25th between the hours of 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

To get involved, contact VolunteerUNITED today. Let’s put love in action this month!
Campaign 2021: Union General Hospital Chili Cook-off

Our friends at Union General Hospital know how to get creative during their United Way campaign! In November, employees were invited to participate in a Chili Cook-Off to raise money for United Way.
Individual employees or a group were able to enter their chili in the Chili Cook-Off. Each Chili contestant brought a large crock pot filled with chili to be judged. 
There were 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for the Best Chili. The winners received a trophy and bragging rights!

1st Place – Jaime Sheehan
2nd Place – Brittany Smith
3rd Place – Derek Reid
Congratulations to the winners! This special event raised $175 as part of Union General Hospital's $20,000 campaign. Way to go!
Campaign 2021: Choice Brands

Choice Brands, a locally owned business that has been in Monroe since 1954, recently met with the United Way team about running a United Way campaign. Soon after, United Way staff were able to speak to their employees and share about United Way’s work in the community.

As a locally owned business, the team at Choice Brands shares our vision to help people and improve community – their excitement over running a workplace campaign was evident. We are so excited to have Choice Brands as one of our newest partners!
Faces of 211: Chaniquel Miller

This month's Face of 211 is Chaniquel Miller. Chaniquel serves as a 211 Team Lead.

Chaniquel began working in January of 2018 as an intern through Louisiana Delta Community College while persuing an Associate Degree in Arts and Social Science as well as Associate of General Studies in Applied Science. Chaniquel says, "My career journey with 211 has been rewarding, humbling, and unique."

Since 2018, Chaniquel's position has advanced from a part-time 211 Call Specialist to a full-time 211 Team Lead in Data Assurance, where she leads a team of wonderful Call Specialists.

"I make it my ultimate goal to lead, monitor, and guide them to achieve goals that not only contribute to the growth of 211 as a whole, but also cultivate an environment that promotes positive communication, unity, and diligence," she says.

When Chaniquel began as a Call Specialist, she says the calls opened her eyes and helped her grow to be more graceful, understanding of others and their points-of-view, and empathetic. "There's no doubt that I've spoken with and assisted some of God's angels through 211," Chaniquel says. "Each experience has been nothing less than touching and heartwarming. Being able to listen to and help others is why I love my job so much!"

Outside of 211, Chaniquel enjoys being a doting mom to her children and their family Yorkie, reading, traveling, listening to music as therapy, learning more about herself, and creating moments and memories that make her life and her soul happy. 
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 asager@unitedwaynela.org.
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 volunteer@unitedwaynela.org.
Connect with us!
United Way of Northeast Louisiana | unitedwaynela.org