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8/24/2015 8:34:48 AM

When three Cox Communications employees walked into the administrator's office at Church Point Middle School carrying plastic bins filled with school supplies, a voice rang out with "I call dibs on the marble notebooks."

This simple sentence may not mean much to some people, but for the teacher who spoke these words, it meant that her class would finally be getting the materials they need.



8/10/2015 9:29:31 AM

Story time doesn't just help your child sleep better at night. It also builds important literacy skills that help them throughout the day at school.

Even 15 minutes spent reading with your child every day can make a difference.



7/29/2015 8:46:38 AM

At this very moment, there's a kid shopping with her mom for school supplies. She's probably following her down those seemingly endless "back-to-school" aisles, looking around with wonder and awe. Maybe her eyes are lighting up as she sees her favorite cartoon character on a folder, and she rejoices when her mom finally caves in and buys it for her. That folder will likely become her favorite and most treasured school supply item.

Most of us have had similar experiences with school supply shopping and the joy associated with getting our favorite item. We asked the staff of United Way of Acadiana to reminisce about their favorite school supply items from the past ...



7/22/2015 1:49:43 PM

Over the years, the world has experienced many changes. Significant progress has been made in every field of study, especially science and medicine. Technology has advanced so much that our four-inch phones function as virtually any tool that we need. Despite all of these changes and innovations, one thing has remained the same throughout the years; the ideas originated from the minds of human beings who had access to the tools they needed.

The children of today will be the inventors and innovators of tomorrow. That's why it's important that children and their teachers are equipped with the supplies they need in school. It's a teacher's job to create engaging environments that encourage their students to learn. This is a difficult task when students don't have school supplies such as pencils or notebooks.



7/10/2015 9:10:30 AM
Engaging children at a young age is a critical component to their education. In fact, last year, 44% of children in Acadia, Lafayette, St. Martin and Vermillion parishes were not ready to learn by the time they entered Kindergarten. When a love of learning is instilled in younger children, they are less likely to become discouraged and more likely to have higher attendance in school and graduate on time.

6/24/2015 10:17:12 AM
On June 19, nearly 600 volunteers came together to make great things happen in area communities for UWA's annual Day of Action. And while it's certainly inspiring to see what a huge impact a group that large makes, it's the individual stories that are even more meaningful.

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6/8/2015 8:43:51 AM

Summer slides don't just happen at water parks.

#SummerSlide is the concept that students lose the knowledge they've gained during the school year. It happens when they're not engaged in regular learning opportunities - Two months is a long time to go without steady learning. In fact, #SummerSlide contributes significantly to the achievement gap between low- and high-income students.

But, there are things parents can do to prevent #SummerSlide.



5/26/2015 11:06:09 AM

Imagine hundreds of children reading books every single day of the summer. It's possible!

Now, picture those children carefully planning how to make the most out of their allowance. They can!

Think of families forced into a shelter by a hurricane or other crisis with nothing but the shirts on their backs. It could happen.

If you want to inspire children and help families in crisis, then TAKE ACTION on June 19.


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5/4/2015 9:34:26 AM

Every teacher deserves a little bit of thanks, especially during Teacher Appreciation Week.

The lessons they teach go far beyond the ABCs and 123s. They stay with us for life.



5/1/2015 11:24:46 AM

NOTE: UWA partners with UL Lafayette students on The Big Event, a day when students do community service throughout Acadiana. Rachelle Washington, The Big Event executive director for 2015, shares her thoughts on its two recent awards. Congratulations to all involved in The Big Event! We're looking forward to the BIG things to come on Oct. 24 ...

On April 20, UL Lafayette held its annual Ragin' Recognition program in which students, staff and student organizations are acknowledged for their active contributions to the betterment of the university.

Categories range from Outstanding Academic Program to Outstanding Advisor and everywhere in-between. We proudly announce that The Big Event was nominated for Outstanding Service/Volunteer Program, Marketing/Recruitment Award and Community Partnership Award. We were honored to accept the awards for Outstanding Service/Volunteer Program and Community Partnership Award! Being commended for the Outstanding Service/Volunteer Program is the beginning step of identifying The Big Event as the ultimate service opportunity for our students to give back and improve our community!



4/13/2015 11:28:16 AM

Aristotle once said that "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." And that is certainly true when it comes to volunteering.

Good things happen when one person takes time to LIVE UNITED. But when we all LIVE UNITED? That's when great things happen.


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4/8/2015 9:44:28 AM

Spring is in the air!

Flowers are blooming, and trees are budding.

This season is all about watching things grow. And for WLC members, that includes children across Acadiana.


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3/26/2015 8:31:52 AM

Tax Day is April 15 ... and it'll be here before you know it!

As we wrap up this year's tax filing season, here are a few things to keep in mind ...


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3/9/2015 2:57:10 PM

We still have more than a month left in Tax Season.

Here are a few tips for those of you who haven't filed your returns ...


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3/5/2015 10:43:53 AM

NOTE: LEAD UNITED is a series spotlighting community champions and their efforts to create an educated, prosperous and safe Acadiana. These champions recognize that great things happen when we all LIVE UNITED. As part of this series, Lafayette General Health talks about their commitment to United Way of Acadiana.

Lafayette General Health's mission is "To Restore, Maintain and Improve Health." Our mission is closely connected to United Way of Acadiana's mission to unite people and organizations with passion, expertise and resources to create more opportunities for a better life. We take pride in our partnership, year after year.


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2/18/2015 11:30:07 AM

I recently attended The Leader in Me Symposium sponsored by FranklinCovey. The symposium brought more than 400 members of The Leader in Me community together to collaborate and celebrate. I was amazed not only by the energy displayed by educators, but also by the excitement among students at Leader in Me schools, which draws on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Children as young as five explained their goals and their plans for achieving them.

Here are a few examples relating to the 7 Habits that I witnessed ...


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2/3/2015 12:49:10 PM

Great things happen when we unite people and organizations with passion, expertise and resources to create more opportunities for a better life.

That's why UWA started the PACT United (Plan of Action for Community Transformation) - a community-wide effort to help more children graduate from high school, build financial stability in hard-working families and help neighbors meet their own basic needs - in April 2008.

UWA's forty-two PACT partners are helping create a more educated, prosperous and safe Acadiana where all individuals and families achieve their potential.

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1/22/2015 8:56:38 AM

This time of year, many people are thinking about money.

Whether it's tightening the financial belt after the holidays or collecting tax documents, it's on our minds.

One way to get on the right economic track is to see if you qualify to have your taxes prepared for free through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program during Super Tax Days.

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1/5/2015 11:09:43 AM
At the beginning of each year, we all promise to do ... better.

Better at working out. Better at saving money. Better at spending more time with the important people in our lives.

So wouldn't it be great if we all made a resolution to make our community a better place?!


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12/19/2014 10:41:12 AM

NOTE: LEAD UNITED is a series spotlighting community champions and their efforts to create an educated, prosperous and safe Acadiana. These champions recognize that great things happen when we all LIVE UNITED. As part of this series, Fugro Companies talks about their commitment to United Way of Acadiana.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. - Helen Keller

At Fugro Companies, we recognize the importance of helping within our community to create opportunities to improve the quality of life for others


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12/15/2014 11:40:59 AM

Shopping for the youngest members of your gift list can sometimes be a struggle.

They only want this year's hot toy. And you want to give them something that not only occupies their time, but also engages their mind.

So why not give them something that lasts much longer than the batteries you probably forgot to buy?



12/4/2014 2:03:21 PM

Giving back can be just as much of a gift as the ones wrapped under the tree.

Supporting United Way of Acadiana is just one way you can give back this holiday season and beyond. Just a few minutes of your time or a few dollars out of your pocket can have a truly lasting impact on someone's life.


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12/2/2014 10:21:57 AM

How far will your dollar stretch this holiday season?

On this #GivingTuesday, let's make it go a little further.


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11/17/2014 10:59:42 AM

With Thanksgiving approaching, it's the perfect time of year to share what you're grateful for.

And at United Way of Acadiana, we have thousands of reasons to be thankful.


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11/3/2014 10:40:26 AM

Frank's is proud to support United Way of Acadiana through our annual Chili Cook-Off, which will take place Friday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Cajun Field.


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10/31/2014 9:06:45 AM

NOTE: LEAD UNITED is a series spotlighting community champions and their efforts to create an educated, prosperous and safe Acadiana. These champions recognize that great things happen when we all LIVE UNITED. As part of this series, Stone Energy Corporation talks about their commitment to United Way of Acadiana.

Stone Energy Corporation's values are to support our people, their growth and the community and environment in which we live and work while emphasizing integrity, teamwork, excellence and the unique spirit of our culture. And we recognize that United Way of Acadiana is leading the way in the development and implementation of initiatives in our communities to help make lasting improvements in the lives of our fellow citizens.


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10/22/2014 11:06:52 AM

Frank's has always been a family company, and we hold events throughout the year to say thank you to our employees and families. This year at our Family Picnic, in addition to getting to enjoy time at the zoo together, our employees' children and grandchildren also got to sign up for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, thanks to our friends at United Way of Acadiana.


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10/1/2014 9:46:58 AM

We had a recent dip in temperatures that made everyone forward to what's to come in the fall.

It's a season full of family fun, football ... and food.

On Oct. 16, join UWA for great gumbo for a great mission at the third annual Stone Energy Gumbo Cook-off benefiting UWA's mission to create more opportunities for a better life for all.


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9/19/2014 9:38:06 AM

How many of you would agree to being robbed or to willingly give a con artist access to your bank account?

The majority of hard working citizens would find this question amusing, yet many who are outside the financial mainstream find themselves in this predicament.


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9/17/2014 8:55:52 AM

NOTE: LEAD UNITED is a series spotlighting community champions and their efforts to create an educated, prosperous and safe Acadiana. These champions recognize that great things happen when we all LIVE UNITED. As part of this series, Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas talks about their commitment to United Way of Acadiana.

Part of being a good neighbor is showing that you care about the local community through your actions. It is for this reason that Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas selected the United Way of Acadiana as its major charity to support annually.



9/15/2014 9:37:17 AM

One big day.

One big thanks.

One BIG EVENT.

On Oct. 25, UL Lafayette students will give back to their communities through volunteerism to make one BIG impact in one day.

That means thousands of student volunteers are ready to help with your projects!


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9/8/2014 10:58:35 AM

Public education affects us all.

Each of us can do our part to help ensure more kids walk across the stage at graduation prepared for whatever comes next. Everyone can make a unique contribution to help create a more vibrant future where all children achieve their potential.



9/2/2014 10:03:32 AM

Yes - your Stuff the Bus donations mean that local children will have pens, notebooks and other supplies, setting them up for a successful school year.

But those supplies aren't the only thing students gain from Stuff the Bus donations.


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8/14/2014 9:29:38 AM

Having good credit and eliminating debt is great. If you can accomplish this and save money, then you are definitely on the right financial track.

Some people, on the other hand, have fallen into a world of high debt and low credit, which may cause financial detriment if they don't have savings to fall back on.

Debtors and creditors are only the supporting roles in the movie about your life, and the star actor happens to be you. So, PAY YOURSELF FIRST.


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8/4/2014 9:10:33 AM

School bells are about to ring throughout Acadiana!

It's almost time for students to head back to the classroom. And for many, that can be an adjustment. Summer schedules can vary from their everyday routines - going to bed later, playing outside for longer, eating breakfast and lunch at different times.

There are some ways to make the transition a little easier. Here are some tips from greatschools.org to help get your children ready for the new school year ...




7/29/2014 7:54:32 AM

This week, United Way of Acadiana bids farewell to Sarah Berthelot as Chief Operating Officer for the organization. In August, Sarah moves into the role of President and CEO of the Louisiana Association of United Ways (LAUW).


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7/17/2014 9:44:02 AM

Before students can even begin to think about reading, writing and arithmetic, they need the proper supplies. Pencils, paper and pens ... all of those things help children have a successful learning experience.

By helping "Stuff the Bus" with school supplies during the first week in August, you're providing local students with the necessary tools required for a successful learning experience, putting them in a better position for achievement. When they have the supplies they need, they can focus on learning.


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7/7/2014 8:50:28 AM

In a pep talk, Kid President told his fellow students, "It's time to get our learn on, and we've got a lot to learn, too."

Literacy skills play such an important role in learning. They lead to academic excellence, improved speech skills, better communication skills, more logical thinking skills, and enhanced concentration and discipline - all of which increase a child's chances of graduating on time.

That's why we're providing extra reading practice to children who need it through United Way Readers.

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6/26/2014 8:40:18 AM

There was a ton of ACTION across Acadiana on June 20.

On that one day, nearly 600 people came together to make our communities better. Stronger. Educated. More prosperous.


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6/2/2014 8:09:03 AM

The final plans are under way for Day of Action! But if you can't join us on June 20, there are still a few ways you can get involved ...


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5/19/2014 8:52:11 AM

We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves - something that helps our friends and neighbors. And on June 20, you have that opportunity.


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5/5/2014 3:08:54 PM
Since it's Teacher Appreciation Week, we thought we'd take a moment to say "thank you" to our Early Head Start teachers. These teachers give their all to make sure children from birth to age 3 have a head start in life, and we appreciate all they do!

4/15/2014 8:22:44 AM

For children across Acadiana, there are so many stories to be told. That's why members of United Way of Acadiana's Women's Leadership Council are off to the races for childhood literacy!

We want to see children win the race and graduate on time. And to do that, we invest our donations to increase early learning opportunities, such as Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, and other important issues affecting the quality of family life.

Our annual Luncheon for a Cause is just one event that supports those opportunities.


4/1/2014 9:12:29 AM

For many students, summer breaks are all about taking vacations, playing outside and (sometimes) goofing off.

But the summer break doesn't have to mean they stop learning. It's a great time to practice their literacy skills and get them ready for the next grade.

To help do that, United Way of Acadiana will be distributing books to local students in the coming weeks to help encourage them to read while they're out of school.


3/17/2014 9:12:37 AM

Tax season can be a stressful time - filing paper work, checking boxes, and adding up line items. But everyone knows that the stress is worth it in the end when you receive your refund.

But did you know that you could take part of your refund and reinvest it back into your community?


2/28/2014 11:45:07 AM

When Pilar Morris taught us how to synergize at our recent Annual Awards Breakfast (which you can see here), we saw first-hand the impact The Leader in Me program is making in our local schools.

And that same week, educators gathered to sharpen the saw at The Leader in Me Symposium.


2/18/2014 8:51:23 AM

The best part about sinking into a good book is the imagination it sparks.

As you turn the pages, you become whatever you want to be, set out on fascinating adventures or travel to faraway lands. What better way to foster creativity than getting lost in a good book?!

And that's especially true for children.



2/3/2014 9:28:05 AM

Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind

That's exactly what people in our area with an interest in education will be doing when FranklinCovey's The Leader in Me Symposium Series makes a stop in Lafayette on February 20-21, in partnership with United Way of Acadiana.



1/15/2014 9:58:26 AM

The start of a new year is a great time to put things in order.

Many of us made resolutions to organize our homes. Others resolved to clear the clutter. And even more of us are tightening our financial belts after purchasing all those holiday gifts.

One way to get on the right economic track is to see if you qualify to have your taxes prepared for free through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at one of the designated sites.


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1/3/2014 8:15:19 AM

Soon, many students in our area are returning to school after winter break.

It marks the beginning of the second half of their academic year - and it's an opportunity for struggling students to make strides toward finishing the school year successfully.

You can help make sure that happens by becoming a United Way Reader.


12/16/2013 8:52:54 AM

$36 doesn't always buy much these days.

Dinner for the family at a fast-food restaurant. A new school uniform. Maybe a tank of gas.

And this holiday season, we want our dollar to stretch a little further.



12/2/2013 10:34:06 AM

As much as we love giving gifts during the holiday season, it's also important to give back.

And there's no better way to give back than spending time volunteering. Just a few minutes of your time can have a truly lasting impact on someone's life.


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11/11/2013 11:23:57 AM

A BIG THANKS goes out to the United Way of Acadiana volunteers and supporters for going the extra mile to help create an educated, prosperous and safe Acadiana where all individuals and families achieve their potential.


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11/1/2013 8:26:43 AM

The end of 2013 will be here before you know it.

In fact, it's already time to start thinking about holiday gifts.

This year, why not give the youngest members of your gift list something that lasts much longer than the batteries needed to power this year's hot toy?



10/21/2013 11:14:37 AM

As many of us know, simply having a bank account can create a wealth of opportunities to gain financial independence - including paying down debt, building savings and becoming a homeowner.

Unfortunately, many in our community don't have those opportunities, because roughly 30% - about 47,000 households - are either unbanked or under-banked. By working together, we can reduce this number and create community-wide opportunities to build assets.


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10/15/2013 2:21:42 PM
Note from UWA: This is a guest blog by Pastor John Newman with New Hope Lafayette

Not too long ago, club soccer was a very big part of our family's life. Picking up kids from practice, traveling to tournaments, and occasionally pointing out overlooked fouls to the referees. We did all the usual things that soccer families do.

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10/1/2013 9:37:50 AM

A little over a year ago, we opened two Early Head Start Learning Centers. Now, we celebrate all these centers do during National Head Start Awareness Month.

So why is United Way of Acadiana opening early head start centers?

The answer is simple. We want to see more children in our service area graduate on time. And what better way to assist in reaching that goal than by ensuring we are laying a solid foundation to school readiness through the Early Head Start Program?!


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9/19/2013 8:33:59 AM

Behind every strong community is a strong United Way. And the strength of United Way of Acadiana depends on YOU!

So, we're counting down the top 5 reasons you should consider giving to United Way of Acadiana ...


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9/3/2013 9:49:42 AM

Summer may have (unofficially) ended, but we're looking forward to what's to come in the fall!

It's a season full of family fun, football ... and food.

On Sept. 26, join us for great gumbo for a great cause at the second annual Stone Energy Gumbo Cook-off benefiting United Way of Acadiana.


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8/20/2013 10:07:50 AM
Being a part of United Way of Acadiana - even though I was just an intern - has been everything and more than I thought it would be.
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8/15/2013 10:47:19 AM

Teaching children to read is critical.

It leads to academic excellence, basic speech skills, better communication skills, more logical thinking skills, and enhanced concentration and discipline - all of which increase a child's chances of graduating on time. That's why we're providing extra reading practice to children who need it through United Way Readers.

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8/13/2013 8:10:53 AM
A few months ago, I had the car in front of me pay for my coffee while in the drive-through at a local coffee shop. It was so unexpected, and it reminded me of how generous people can be.
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8/1/2013 9:44:49 AM

Crayons ... binders ... glue sticks ... So much is needed at the beginning of a new school year!

By helping "Stuff the Bus," you're providing local students with the necessary tools required for a successful learning experience, putting them in a better position for achievement.


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7/11/2013 10:00:28 AM

We came together on one day.

We gathered hundreds of volunteers.

We made an impact.


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7/8/2013 9:19:04 AM

NOTE: Kate Eddy is interning with UWA's marketing and communications team this summer. Here are her some of her thoughts on being a part of UWA ...

Being an intern, I expected to be doing what I named "The Three F's": fetching coffee, filing papers and feeding the staff. But that is not the case here at United Way of Acadiana. I am learning new things every day that will be extremely beneficial not only for a career, but also as a person.


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6/26/2013 8:19:29 AM

NOTE: UWA's marking and communications intern Kate Eddy joined more than 500 volunteers June 21 for her first Day of Action. Here are her some of her thoughts ...

I'm not going to lie - waking up to my 6 a.m. alarm for United Way of Acadiana's Day of Action last Friday was not easy. But I would easily do again if I could relive the experience I had that day.


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6/17/2013 3:48:53 PM
The final plans are under way for Day of Action! But if you can't join us on June 21, there are still a few ways you can get involved ...
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6/10/2013 9:45:28 AM

As a dad, I know that my children's education is about more than ABCs and 123s. It's also about teaching them how to be good people - the kind of people who make a difference in the world.


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5/20/2013 9:43:09 AM
We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves - something that helps our friends and neighbors. And on June 21, you have that opportunity.
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5/9/2013 11:28:07 AM
Before we even start school, our moms are our first teachers. They are the ones who guide our first steps and show us the way. Not only do they teach us ABCs and 123s, but they also teach us right from wrong.
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5/2/2013 10:02:54 AM

The goal for Day of Literacy was simple - get more books in the hands of more students.

And thanks to your support, we made that happen!

Just look at what we can accomplish when our communities come together ...


4/15/2013 10:09:00 AM

For children across Acadiana, there are so many stories to be told.

And members of United Way of Acadiana's Women's Leadership Council want to see those stories have happy endings.


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3/28/2013 9:48:50 AM

There are so many things to think about when it comes to taxes.

Do I have all the necessary documents?

Do I qualify for an Earned Income Tax Credit?

Am I filling everything out correctly?

At Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites, we're hoping to make the process just a bit easier.


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3/15/2013 8:20:06 AM

It's a beautiful spring day.

Your child is clamoring to go outside to play, but you want to make sure playtime is productive.

Learning happens all the time - and all around you - and Born Learning Trails help you make the most of your child's playtime.



3/4/2013 11:34:43 AM

Oh, the places you will go ...

Children's stories spark creativity. They build imagination. And most important, they engage a child's mind.

You can help share those stories by donating new or gently-used books during Day of Literacy on March 7.



2/21/2013 8:03:19 AM

A ruler of a far-away kingdom.

An adventurer riding the waves of the high seas.

An explorer examining an exciting new world.

When a child reads, their imagination blooms, instantly turning them into whatever they want to be. What better way to foster creativity than getting lost in a good book?!



2/5/2013 10:23:49 AM

We know there are lots of little details to remember when you file your taxes each year. Receipts, W-2s, IDs ... it's important to have these things ready.

To make the process easier, here are a few tax tips ...


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1/9/2013 8:31:05 AM

Thank you for everything you do!

We thought you'd enjoy a bit of good news ...


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1/3/2013 11:17:19 AM
One of the best parts about starting a new year is that it's a clean slate.

It's a chance to spend the next 12 months creating a better life for you, your family and your community.

It's also a chance to make a fresh financial start.


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12/14/2012 9:59:44 AM

The holiday season isn't just about giving ... it's also about giving back.

And there's no better way to give back than spending time volunteering. Just a few minutes of your time can have a truly lasting impact on someone's life.

Here are three local opportunities for you to give back and help make Acadiana a little brighter this holiday season ...

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12/5/2012 9:38:58 AM
Maybe we all could learn something from young children.

No matter what their holiday gifts are ... they only want to play with the box and wrapping paper.

So what's the lesson all of us adults should take from their youthful enthusiasm? It doesn't take much to brighten someone's day.


11/19/2012 1:25:46 PM

This community has come together in so many ways in the past year to make Acadiana better.

THANK YOU!