Our hearts go out to all of those affected by the weekend's tornadoes. If you would like to help Hamilton, follow the United Way of Greater Monroe County on Facebook for the most up-to-date information on needs and drop-off locations.
April is National Volunteer Month
April 8-12 was National Volunteer Week, but all of April is National Volunteer Month too. There's never enough time to thank all of our amazing volunteers who make our work possible. Thank you again to each and everyone who volunteers with United Way and our partner agencies to make our communities better.

This is also a great time to remind you of our volunteer hub at VolunteerNEMS.org. Rebecca has been working with our local nonprofits to help them get registered on the new, improved platform and post their opportunities. Check it out and find the perfect volunteer opportunity for you!

If you're an organization looking to get more volunteers, contact Rebecca for more information on getting connected!
Week of the Young Child
Last week was also the Week of the Young Child, and a great opportunity for us to celebrate the work we have been involved in focused on early childhood education.

Shelly, who works with our Excel By 5 and Grade-Level Reading initiatives, was out visiting childcare centers, ECEC, and the Early Childhood Academy at ICC and checking out the fun activities they had everyday. Things like Music Monday, Tasty Tuesday, and Work Together Wednesday. Check out tons of photos and videos on the Lee County Excel By 5 Facebook page!
Because of Shelly and her team of amazing volunteers and community members, early childhood in Lee County has gotten better and better. About 1,400 children ages birth to 5 are receiving free books each month through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Childcare centers and schools are collaborating to ensure that kids are kindergarten-ready and have access to resources like computer labs, professional development for childcare teachers, and arts programs and so much more.

We know that 90% of brain development happens before the age of 5, and kindergarten readiness is a good predictor of children's future success. That's why we're invested in early childhood and will continue partnering with programs that focus on this crucial period of development!
Upcoming Events
April is Autism Awareness Month and the Autism Center of North Mississippi still has a couple of ways for you to Go Blue!

Groundswell will have another Hops Around event Thursday, April 18 (weather permitting). Follow @groundswellms on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates if we need to reschedule.

Regional Rehab still has pictures with the Easter Bunny for one more weekend.

The Boy Scouts Yocona Area Council is hosting a job fair on April 20 from 12:00-4:00 for scouts interested in working at Camp Yocona during the summer.

Chick-fil-A at Barnes Crossing is supporting the Family Resource Center's Beds for Kids program by donating a portion of profits on April 22 from 5-7 PM.

Regional Rehab will honor Mr. Hassell Franklin at their annual Red Rasberry Humanitarian Award dinner on April 23. RRC is also selling tickets for the 21st Annual Kentucky Derby Party on May 4.

Sanctuary Hospice needs volunteers for their radiothon April 26 . Contact Heather Palmer to sign up.

Partner agencies, send your events to robin@unitedwaynems.org to be included in the newsletter!