A Message from Our President/CEO
YOUR HELP MAKES THE DIFFERENCE.
In 2020, Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana faced several challenges due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. We learned to cope with new restrictions and requirements as our staff continued to serve the 47,000+ consumers. One thing that remained true throughout this challenge was your support.
With the support of many, both big and small gifts, we were able to make a difference in so many lives. We take every bit of support, every hour of volunteering, and every financial gift bestowed to us and turn them into life-changing help for those in need throughout the 16-parishes we serve. This is something we have been doing for nearly 125 years in southeast Louisiana.
This was especially true last year. Government grants remain our biggest funding source yet there is always a significant difference between what grants cover and what it takes to serve vulnerable people well. Our donors make the difference. You ensured we had no gaps in service for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, veterans in crisis, adoptive families, at-risk youth, children with incarcerated parents, and others.
Last year you did even more. You helped ensure that state funding to community services for individuals with disabilities was a priority by calling or emailing your state legislators. Your unwavering support pushed this issue to the forefront and for that, I thank you.
As you may know, we were unable to hold our largest fundraiser in May, our Reach for the Stars breakfast. This was a large hurdle as we rely on the funds generated at this breakfast to fill the gaps mentioned before. We did, however, hold our annual GolfStar Classic for Adoption and Maternity, and our Christmas Wish drive to give over 1,000 individuals we serve a holiday gift—all of which provided essential support and countless smiles. But your help is still needed.
Your support helps enhance and launch new programs. We are now helping individuals who may be at higher risk of contracting HIV via our Journey program. We are also providing essential resource coordination to those throughout the state who have contracted or are quarantining because of COVID-19. These are just two of the newest programs to fall under the Volunteers of America umbrella.
Again, your support will help us continue to do great things with programs that have received renewed funding. This includes our acclaimed Veterans Services programs, our Residential Re-entry program for prisoners, and new block grants for affordable housing.
Because we have such a highly skilled and committed staff, Volunteers of America can do so much with your gifts. Our employees remain the “heart and soul” of our mission because of how well they serve others.
We hope you are as inspired as we are about the impact Volunteers of America makes in our communities. If you aren’t involved, join us. Your support, no matter how big or small, can mean everything in the life of a person in need.
Voris R. Vigee