A Message from Our President/CEO

YOUR HELP MAKES THE DIFFERENCE.

As Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana continues to impact lives and build communities, we continue to embody our founders’ motto: “We will go wherever we are needed and do whatever comes to hand.”

Never have those words taken on more meaning than in 2021. Our staff tackled the challenges of COVID-19 head on and continued to serve over 60,000 people. Volunteers of America could not have continued to thrive during these tough times without your generosity. Thank You!

Mother Nature also determined that we needed to be tested a little more when Hurricane Ida made its presence known on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Thankfully, we safely evacuated over 300 people we serve to Texas, and we ensured that the seniors living at our properties were cared for throughout the storm. Recovery will take time and money, but I know you can be counted on help us meet this financial challenge.

Your support is making a difference in so many ways. We take every bit of aid and every financial gift bestowed to us and turn it into life-changing help for those in need throughout the 16-parishes we serve. How do we continue to maximize your support?

The first way is by maximizing government grants, which remain our biggest funding source. Despite our focus on continuing to grow our governmental support, there is always a significant difference between what grants cover and what it takes to serve the most vulnerable. This is what we call our funding gap. But you, our donors, make the difference. With your help, you ensure we minimize the gaps in service for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, veterans in crisis, adoptive families, at-risk youth, children with incarcerated parents, and so many others.

The second way that we maximize your support is by creating new programs and innovative partnerships to address the growing needs in the community. One example is the Opioid Mobile Response Team, which addresses the rising epidemic of opioid abuse in the Florida Parishes. Our team, in partnership with the Florida Parishes Human Services Authority, offers peer support and rehabilitation resources to individuals struggling with drug addiction.

The third way that we maximize your support is by echoing your voice to lawmakers. With your help, state funding for services for individuals with disabilities was a priority in a year when resources could have easily been cut. So many of you called or emailed your state legislators to ensure this was on the 2021 legislative agenda. Your unwavering support pushed this issue to the forefront and helped ensure the future of our intellectual and development disability services.

All of this would not be possible with our highly skilled and committed staff, Volunteers of America can do so much with your gifts. Our 500+ 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 and will continue to make this year. If you aren’t involved, join us in 2022 as a volunteer or by making a gift at www.voasela.org/donate. Your support, no matter how big or small, can mean everything in the life of a person in need.

Voris R. Vigee

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