It’s been a tough few years. Too many people are struggling - paying the weekly grocery store bill, making up for the learning lost during pandemic school interruptions, recovering from natural and man-made disasters. Our communities are fractured by partisan politics and pandemic fueled isolation.
But we know individuals can change the world. They don’t need to be powerful CEOs or elected officials. They don’t even need to be adults! Just think about Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg, and the change they’ve made in the world through their advocacy for education for girls, and for climate change. That’s United Way’s sweet spot. Our superpower is bringing people together to make positive, lasting change.
With our partners, experts, community leaders and residents, United Way looks at the toughest problems, and is thoughtful about local solutions that work best in our community. United Way of Southeast Mississippi makes it easy for you to take meaningful action that makes a difference. That can be volunteering for a program that helps struggling kids shift the odds, like our partner agency Aldersgate Mission. Or speaking up for more support for single moms who earn above Federal Poverty Level but struggling to afford household basics (also known as Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). Or investing in solutions that are showing results, like our partners Christian Services, Edwards Street Food Pantry and Hope Community Collective, who altogether in the past year enrolled 7,516 people in feeding programs.
And we are seeing positive results. Here in Hattiesburg and surrounding areas over the last year, United Way and the donors, volunteers and advocates who’ve joined us have made a difference.
- 6,669 books delivered to kids under age 5 through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
- Nearly 200 babies and toddlers with developmental disabilities received therapy services at The Children’s Center for Communication and Development
- 264 individuals received financial assistance and coaching through the THRIVE program
Positive change is happening. But it doesn’t “just happen.” Change is created together.
And we’re in it together. Just ask Nicole, a domestic abuse survivor who was provided safe shelter and guidance by our partner Domestic Abuse Family Shelter (DAFS). In 2020, Nicole and her children managed to escape her abusive partner of 12 years and found a safe haven with DAFS.
Nicole says, “They helped me in everything, because I only came with the clothes I had on my back. My kids had a couple outfits to wear, but we left with what we could carry. I had nothing. They provided me with everything. They talked me through it and I made it.”
With the support and assistance of DAFS, Nicole was able to find a job and her own home in the country, away from the threat of her abusive ex. And that was made possible through United Way donors.
We want Hattiesburg and the surrounding region to be a resilient, equitable community that offers opportunities for everyone to thrive. We can make it happen, together.
People like you are the ones who make change happen. Join us. Give today.