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|United Way launches annual fundraising campaign|
The United Way of Northeast Louisiana celebrated "Live United Day" Tuesday to kick off its 2009 fundraising campaign.
United Way officials also rolled out its FamilyWize prescription drug discount card.
Annmarie Sartor, 2009 Campaign Chair, said, "When we began to plan an event to kick off this year's campaign, we wanted to do something more than a rally-type event. We wanted it to be more mission driven. We realized that by presenting a volunteer opportunity like this, we could kick off our campaign and serve our community at the same time. After all, helping people and improving the community is what this campaign is all about."
"The United Way partner agencies do a wonderful job of delivering services to people in all walks of life every day. They are very effective at delivering critical services like home delivered meals, but we must look at the broader community. That is a role the United Way is positioned to play. The United Way is seeking solutions to issues affecting the whole community by focusing on the building blocks we all need for a good life — education, income and health."
United Way is gathering volunteer councils around the region to help define what they can do in each area to make the greatest impact.
Eva Dyann Wilson, United Way board chairwoman, said, "All of our work is built on a foundation of meeting basic and emergency needs and we remain firmly committed to supporting services that meet needs such as food, shelter, medicine and disaster relief."
Anne Lockhart, community impact chairwoman said in the area of health, the United Way is focusing on increasing access to care and preventive health and nutritional services.
She said the FamilyWize prescription drug discount card is a new partnership in the region to help people in the community gain access to vital prescription medications they may not be able to afford.
It is a free card primarily for people with no health insurance or prescription coverage.
"It can also be used when people have to purchase medications not covered by their health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare or VA benefits. It can help provide discounts of up to 20 percent on eight out of 10 drugs," Lockhart said.
Following the announcement Tuesday, United Way teams traveled throughout Ouachita Parish with FamilyWize prescription drug discount cards to distribute the cards to schools, non-profit agencies, city and parish governmental facilities, health units and other locations.
"The goal of Tuesday's event was to get the card out to as many people as possible who need the assistance," Lockhart said.
Regarding the on-going fundraising campaign, Sartor said, "While we need to see an increase in our campaign this year so that critical services can continue in our community, we've decided the goal for this year's campaign is to maintain the level of giving in the community that we experienced last year."
The United Way campaign will run through Nov. 16.
People who would like to donate or conduct an employee campaign can visit the United Way website at www.uwnela.org, or call Janie Milby at 325-3869.