Volunteers of America Receives $1.1 million to Provide COVID-19 Assistance
Last year, Volunteers of America touched the lives of 1.5 million people in more than 400 communities. Since 1896, this nonprofit has supported and empowered America’s most vulnerable groups, including veterans, at-risk youth, the elderly, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, people with disabilities and those recovering from addictions. Last year, Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana had more than 1,000 volunteers who dedicated more than 54,000 hours of their time to improve the lives of many Louisiana residents.
Recently, The Veterans Administration awarded a three-month, $1.1 million grant to Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana for its Supportive Services for Veterans Families program. The program provides support to qualified veterans in need of temporary financial assistance to pay their rent and utility payments because of COVID-19 and who are currently living anywhere in Louisiana.
“We are happy to facilitate even more resources to our very deserving veterans who have given so much for us,” said Jim LeBlanc, president and CEO of Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana. “My hope is that no veteran should be in fear of having to live on the streets or feel they have nowhere else to turn.”
Veterans enrolled in the program work with case managers to be reintegrated into the workforce and become self-sufficient. Services include counseling, education, vocational guidance, required training, job preparation, resume writing, financial planning, money management and other assistance based on individual needs.
Just like so many other organizations, Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana is adjusting to the new normal.
“The staff are the real superheroes who continue to move our mission forward each and every day,” says Voris Vigee, executive vice president of programs. “They ensure that the needs of the people we serve, the most vulnerable in the community, are not forgotten. I especially am so thankful for our front-line staff, who are finding innovative ways to engage with the consumers.”
The organization’s Fresh Food Factor program has pivoted its business structure and is now distributing healthy, packaged meals throughout Orleans and Jefferson parishes to children outside of school through its 8,500-square-foot commercial kitchen located in New Orleans’ Garden District. Its Mentoring Children of Promise program, which pairs qualified adult mentors with at-risk children who have a parent currently or formerly incarcerated, is still recruiting new mentors as there is a waiting list of about 150 children who need mentors, while the organization’s Lakeshore Counseling Center is hosting counseling sessions online via telehealth and currently accepting new patients anywhere in the state.
Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana continues to put the safety of its consumers and staff at the top of their priority; they routinely check temperatures and verify the wellness of both.
“We ask that your readers pray for our consumers and for our staff and that they remember that we will get through this and will come out better and stronger together,” says LeBlanc.
Volunteers of America is a movement organized to reach and uplift all people and bring them to the knowledge and active service of God. Volunteers of America, illustrating the presence of God through all that they do, serves people and communities in need and creates opportunities for people to experience the joy of serving others. Volunteers of America measures its success in positive change in the lives of the individuals and communities they serve.
Some Corporate Partners & Volunteers
Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana works with many local businesses and corporations throughout the year. The following are a few that recently stepped up to help during the COVID-19 pandemic and a few others that have helped out throughout the year.
- Foresters Financial, who just donated hundreds of pounds of fresh produce for 200 seniors at Terraces on Tulane.
- Northwestern Mutual of New Orleans, who just donated gift cards to Community Living Services homes for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities to help purchase groceries, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, etc.
- Greater New Orleans Federal Credit Union
- Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana
- Crescent Towing
- Ryan Gootee General Contractors
How You Can Help
Currently, Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana has stopped taking auto donations because the car auctions are closed. If you have a vehicle to donate, please fill out the auto donation form and they will contact you as soon as vehicle pickups resume.
If you are in a position to do so, the organization asks that you please consider donating. Your donations help them continue to serve the most vulnerable in our community. And, if you know of anyone who may be eligible for its services, please have them reach out to them.
VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA
4152 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 482-2130 or email@example.com