United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA) in partnership with SWEPCO announced today that it has established base funding for the United for NWLA Fund to benefit local federal workers, contractors and others who may be impacted by the ongoing government shutdown.
The initial fund of $5,000 established by UWNWLA and SWEPCO will be managed by Salvation Army to provide assistance for utility help. UWNWLA will serve as the underwriter for these funds. Furloughed federal workers will be required to provide proof of employment with each request for help.
As UWNWLA secures more funding, furloughed federal workers may also receive help with immediate needs such as food, medication and gas cards. UWNWLA is calling on corporate partners, local businesses and individual donors to help by contributing to this fund.
“United Way exists to help those in crises and crisis is what we are seeing across our Northwest Louisiana communities right now,” said Bruce Willson, President and CEO of United Way of Northwest Louisiana. “There are thousands of local federal workers with immediate needs who are struggling and we are working to leverage our partnerships to provide relief.”
UWNWLA also has a free 24/7 help line, 2-1-1, which serves as a central hub for local and government resources. By dialing 2-1-1, anyone can be connected to a trained, live operator who will direct calls to assistance. Individuals in need or who are looking for information for someone else can call 2-1-1 from a cell phone or landline. United Way supports and provides 2-1-1 services in most communities across the U.S.
The United for NWLA Fund is a local extension of the United for U.S. Fund established by United Way Worldwide, launched this month to bring together corporate partners, organized labor, the United Way network and other nonprofits to assist furloughed federal workers. Since the government shutdown on Dec. 22, United Way has received an increasing number of inquiries from members of the public, nonprofits and other companies eager to help.
With a network covering 94 percent of communities across the U.S., United Way is well-positioned to marshal and mobilize resources to reach those who are in crisis due to the shutdown and get them the help they need with basic needs.
Those who would like to donate are encouraged to visit unitedwaynwla.org/unitedfornwl
To receive utility help, call Salvation Army at (318) 424-3200 ext. 11
For other questions on how to receive help, dial 2-1-1.