Celebrating Excellence 2021: Monroe & Ruston Events

This year's Celebrating Excellence events honored the generosity and unwavering community spirit of our community partners, campaigns, volunteers, and donors. We had fabulous turnouts, engaging and inspiring speakers, and overall exciting events in both Monroe and Ruston!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022
Bayou Pointe (ULM)

Campaign Coordinator of the Year Award – Keiona Wesby, Monroe Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED
Campaign Coordinator & Team of the Year Award – Chelsey Walley & Team, Business Alliance Financial Services
VolunteerUNITED Award – University of Louisiana Monroe
LIVE UNITED Award – University of Louisiana Monroe
Thursday, March 24th, 2022
Davison Athletics Complex (LA Tech)

Campaign Coordinators of the Year Award – Cathi Cox-Boniol and Corre Stegall, Louisiana Tech University
VolunteerUNITED Award – Jackson Parish Sheriff's Office
LIVE UNITED Award – Union Parish Schools
2021 Campaign Cabinets and Leadership Teams
Love in Action: Project Recap

We loved launching 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! Additionally, United Way NELA organized weekly service projects for the community to get involved with Love in Action.

We had a total of 1,640 items donated throughout the month of February, and all items were distributed back into our community!

Week 1: Can Collection
United Way NELA collected canned goods to donate to the following locations:
Regional Parishes: Christopher Youth Center
Lincoln, Union, and Jackson Parishes: CCA
TOTAL CANS COLLECTED: 517 + 7 bags of dried beans + 7 cans of baby formula

Week 2: Book Drive
United Way NELA collected gently used and NEW preschool age children’s books to donate to the Children’s Coalition.

Week 3: Sock Drive
United Way NELA collected socks for the Desiard St. Shelter. All size socks and men's/women's/children's.

Week 4: Blanket Drive
United Way NELA collected blankets for the two homeless shelters in our area.

This month and next, our READ.LEARN.SUCCEED. volunteer readers and pen friends are participating in Mobile Parades at area schools. These parades wrap up a very successful year of volunteering with local 2nd graders (plus 3rd graders at Jefferson Elementary) at our partner schools across 5 parishes (Ouachita, Lincoln, Union, Jackson, and Morehouse) and 6 school districts (Monroe City, Ouachita, Lincoln, Union, Jackson, and Morehouse).

Volunteers have been reading with and writing to 2nd grade students (3rd grade only at Jefferson) since October 2021. The parades are fun, interactive, and allow our students and volunteers to meet in a safe, socially distant space.

Check out these photos from the Mobile Parades at Berg Jones Elementary, Jonesboro-Hodge Elementary, Morehouse Elementary, and Shady Grove Elementary!
To find out more about READ.LEARN.SUCCEED. or to get involved, click below.
Faces of 211: Lenora Peden-Farmer

This month's Face of 211 is Lenora Peden-Farmer. Lenora serves as a 211 Information and Referral Call Specialist.

Lenora began her career in March 2015 at the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center (BRCIC) as a part-time office clerk. She graduated from Baton Rouge Community College in May 2015 with a degree in Paralegal Sudies. 

Soon, some of the management team at BRCIC felt that Lenora's many years of call center experience (Senior Lead Trainer, Operations Manager) combined with many years of work as an advocate for parents and childrens' mental health rights made her a perfect fit for providing direct 211 services.

In July of 2015, United Way of Northeast Louisiana 211 began providing Capital Area 211 services. Lenora was asked to continue in her role.

Lenora says, "I am so grateful for my journey! My work here is so much more than information, resources and referrals. Every day is an opportunity to make a difference. Most of the time, people just need hope, kindness, compassion, and and someone to hear their story." When callers say, "Thank you," Lenora responds with, "It's an honor to serve."

In her spare time, Lenora enjoys watching TV and reading with her four-year-old great-grandson. Her life motto is "better together."
Louisiana Early Childcare & Education: Did You Know?

Louisiana’s economy loses $1.3 billion a year due to the impacts of child care breakdowns.

For more information and resources, please visit www.readylouisiana.org.
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