Put ‘U’ in United Way of Miss-Lou

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 4, 2016

The United Way board of directors are urging everyone, especially those who have been involved, in the past or currently, with the United Way or its agencies, to attend a very important upcoming event, whether they be a former board member, benefactor, supporter, community leader, or business owner, as well a member of the general public interested in the future of this organization.

The United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou is at a crossroads, with serious financial difficulties and a need for volunteer support.

Without changes in both, it could face closing in the near future. To explore this potentiality and the impact it would have on our local economy, a “Community Forum on the Future of the United Way” is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 8 in the Natchez Convention Center to discern the views of the Miss-Lou community regarding this possibility. The goals of the Forum (or “town hall meeting”) are to outline the financial challenges facing the agency and to gauge the level of community support to keep it from possible dissolution. A strong and active United Way says that the community it serves is strong as well. A community that allows its United Way to close sends a chilling message to potential employers and retirees that the community is not well.

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The United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou has been, and still is, an important organization supporting a group of local social services and health related agencies (“partnering agencies”) that help to meet the needs of many area citizens in housing, education and workforce training, employment, health care, recreation, among others. The 14 listed partnering agencies deliver services that help children and youth succeed, strengthen and support families in need, and promote independence and economic self-sufficiency.

These agencies make a positive difference for persons in need, especially when the local economy is weak, and, when federal, state and local governmental assistance programs face severe reductions in funding. The current partnering agencies supported by the United Way are Adams County 4-H, Adams County CASA, Red Cross, Catholic Charities and its related organizations, Guardian Shelter and the Guardian Sexual Assault Center, Habitat for Humanity, Natchez/Adams County Council on Aging, Natchez Falcons Youth Club, T.M. Jennings Little League, CENLA Foster Grandparents and the Concordia Parish Council on Aging. Tens of thousands of dollars are allocated each year and paid these local organizations in support of their missions.

The effect of the contribution made to our local community cannot be overestimated, nor the loss of it understated. Again, the Community Forum on the Future of the United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou will be at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 8 in the Natchez Convention Center. We hope to see you there.


Deanne Tanksley is the treasurer of the United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou.