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Story Archives: Volunteers of America launches 'Legacy of Hope Society'
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|Volunteers of America launches 'Legacy of Hope Society'|
Volunteers of America cared about Shelly Maxwell when she didn't care about herself.
Before Volunteers of American entered her life, Maxwell cried all of the time. Her self-esteem was suffering, too, as she lived with her sister, taking care of six children in a small rural town.
"I felt like nobody cared about me, and I had lost all hope," Maxwell said. "I stayed in the house all the time, and I felt like a prisoner in my own home."
"The biggest thing was I felt like the good Lord had forgotten about me," Maxwell continued. "I had lost my faith. I desperately needed a change.
"Volunteers of America helped me to make that changed that I needed and desired. When I needed help, they came through for me. They taught me that I can do a lot of things on my own. I took one goal on at a time and challenged myself to do it."
Today, Maxwell has hope for the future, and her children share in that hope.
"My children are happy, motivated, have high self-esteem and we're living in safe, affordable housing," she said. "Volunteers of America cared about me when I didn't care about myself. I hope that my story will inspire others to know that they can accomplish their goals, too."
Judith Mower, vice president of Volunteers of American of Northeast Louisiana, said the organization means many different things to many people in the community.
Volunteers of America is one of the nation's largest human services organizations, serving more than two million people each year. It helps at-risk youth, the elderly, men and women returning from prison, homeless people and families, people with disabilities and those recovering from addictions.
"Today we're striving for the development of infants and toddlers, reaching out to and housing the homeless, and we're finding ways to keep troubled youth in school," Mower said. "Our vision for northeast Louisiana is that all families are socially, emotionally, and financially competent."
She said there is much work that needs to be done in the community. Many people need support, according to Mower.
Funding is one of the biggest challenges the organization faces since it is primarily funded through donations. There are many local residents who need assistance, but are currently on waiting lists due to funding limitations, Mower said.
Ben Marshall, an advisory board member for Volunteers of America of Northeast Louisiana, said he has personally seen the difference the organization has made in the lives of local residents.
"I'm amazed at the work Volunteers of America does in our community, but they need financial support to continue day-to-day operations," Marshall said.
Wednesday morning, Volunteers of America launched its "Legacy of Hope Society" for contributors who would be willing to donate $1,000 to $10,000 per year for the next five years. A breakfast meeting was held at Monroe Civic Center to kick off the fundraising drive.
Volunteers of America will accept donations big and small, Marshall said. He encouraged people to give whatever they can to the organization so it can continue to offer its various services to local residents.
So far, the organization has raised $52,000.
"The more services we can provide, the better we can ensure families live independently," Marshall said.
For more information about Volunteers of America or to donate to the organization, call 322-2272.