Our Collaboratives & Initiatives

Learn more about our collaboratives and initiatives below.


Bank On Northeast Louisiana is a coalition of local partnerships between financial institutions, community organizations and city/state/federal government agencies that work to improve the financial stability of the unbanked and underbanked residents of our communities.

The objective of Bank On NELA is to improve financial stability by connecting residents to safe and affordable mainstream accounts in banks and credit unions, raising public awareness of these efforts and opportunities, and expanding access to financial education and other financial empowerment opportunities.

Our community has two urgent needs in the community’s crisis response system addressing homelessness: coordinated entry and gaps in available housing programs. Coordinated entry is a best practice to help support people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness quickly access the crisis response system and connect with appropriate services. Front Door for Housing is an approach to coordination and management of a crisis response system’s resources that allows users to make consistent decisions from available information to efficiently and effectively connect people to interventions that prevent or rapidly end their homelessness. The Home Coalition, The Wellspring and United Way of Northeast Louisiana work together to enhance our Community’s Coordinated Entry process to bridge the gap between people facing homelessness and those who can provide services. Further, the partnership has recognized gaps in services for particularly vulnerable individuals and families. The partnership has strategically created options to fill these previously unaddressed gaps.

Out of School Enrichment is a community partnership with the City of Monroe, Boys & Girls Club of NELA, and United Way of Northeast Louisiana.

Coming soon...

The Lincoln Parish Hunger Task Force Backpack Program provides needy Lincoln Parish school children with food to sustain them through the weekend. These are elementary school children who have been identified by our Lincoln Parish elementary teachers and principals as being too hungry to learn after a weekend of deprivation. Because of the Lincoln Parish Hunger Task Force Backpack Program, on school Fridays for 32 weeks a bag of nutritious food for the weekend is provided to these students before they leave school. The four-pound bags include 2 each of cereal, fruit, juice, milk and canned protein entrees. In 2023-24, the program included all Lincoln Parish School Board elementary/pre-k schools, Lincoln Prep charter school, and Headstart - serving 400 students in all. The Lincoln Parish Hunger Task Force Backpack Program is a growing community effort with each partner contributing in a way that fits.

Founding Partners (2008): Founding member Rotary of Ruston was quickly joined by Calvary Baptist Church, Kiwanis of Ruston, and Lincoln Rotary, and Super 1 Foods.  These 4 faith-based and civic organizations funded, coordinated, packed and delivered 1.5 meals every Friday in Backpacks to 180 school children (grades K-6) in 6 Ruston and Dubach elementary schools.

Current Partners: The Bridge Community Church, Calvary Baptist Church, CenturyNext Bank, First Baptist Church Ruston, Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana, Junior Auxiliary, Kiwanis of Ruston, Lincoln Health Foundation, Lincoln Parish Schools ACHIEVE, Lincoln Preparatory School, Lincoln Rotary, Lions Club of Simsboro, Origin Bank, Paul E Slaton Headstart, Quota Club, Rotary of Ruston, Super 1 Foods, Temple Baptist Church, Trinity United Methodist Church, and United Way of Northeast Louisiana. This collaboration of partners will participate either by funding, coordinating, and/or delivering food for the weekend every Friday in Backpacks to school children (grades PreK-6) in 11 Lincoln Parish elementary schools.


United Way NELA Dollars & Sense Reality Fairs mobilize volunteers to provide free, comprehensive, financial education to area students across Northeast Louisiana parishes. 

United Way NELA’s in house financial counselor provides one-on-one and small group financial coaching sessions, aimed at helping others manage their income, change financial behavior, and achieve individualized financial goals. 

The Heirship Project is a project aimed at educating and assisting residents who need help obtaining a clear property title.

Heir property comes about when necessary legal work isn’t done after a property owner dies. Heirs who have a verbal agreement to live on the property, but no legal title could face many obstacles, including selling the property, making repairs on the property, or qualifying for government aid to fix damages to the home.

Interested individuals who need assistance obtaining a clear property title for heir property or who want to know more information about heir property may register at the link below. For additional assistance, contact 211. Simply dial 211 from any landline or mobile phone (available 24/7), or text your zip code to 898-211 (available Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm).


United Way of Northeast Louisiana provides FREE tax assistance based on your individual situation through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).

  • Free tax help for individuals with straightforward tax situations

  • IRS-certified volunteers to assist with tax preparation

  • Focus on accuracy and compliance with tax laws

  • Please note, this service may not cover complex situations like self-employment, rental, or certain investment incomes.

MyFreeTaxes is another accessible resource. MyFreeTaxes is...

  • An online platform for free, self-guided tax filing

  • Ideal for users comfortable with digital tools and with simple tax scenarios

  • Secure and user-friendly interface

As always, another free option available to you is 211. Simply dial 211 from your cell phone or landline (available 24/7, 365 days a year) or send a text with your zip code to 898-211 during Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and get connected to available resources in your area.

United Way of Northeast Louisiana READ.LEARN.SUCCEED. offers opportunities for volunteers interested in helping area 2nd and 3rd graders improve their reading skills.

FACT: Studies show that students who can't read on grade level by the end of 3rd grade are four times LESS likely to graduate from high school.

Launched in partner schools during the 2012-13 school year, READ.LEARN.SUCCEED. volunteer community education initiative was designed to help place area students on a good path toward school success by improving their reading skills, ultimately increasing their chances of graduating high school.

READ.LEARN.SUCCEED. pairs trained community volunteers with 2nd grade students (3rd grade students at Jefferson only) at 18 partner schools across our region to become one-on-one Volunteer Readers or Pen-Friends. These volunteers and their assigned students practice and sharpen reading and writing skills monthly from October through March.

These amazing volunteers give of their time and energy to help Northeast Louisiana children have a better quality of life, both now and into the future.

Ready4K is a family engagement program helping districts, community organizations, and schools strengthen partnerships with families and caregivers birth–grade 12 to improve student engagement, attendance, academics, and mental health.

Through Ready4K, texts are sent to RLS partner school’s families 3 times a week, with messages aligned to the Protective Factors Framework, which set forth qualities proven to help parents buffer the effects of life.

Ready4Service is a United Way of Northeast Louisiana initiative that is designed to get 4th & 5th grade elementary students involved in community service. The students who took part either earned the title of Student of the Year or are contenders for the title in the upcoming year.

The service learning process – Investigation, Preparation, Action, Reflection, Demonstration and Evaluation (IPARDE) – is a research-based teaching and learning strategy that engages youth in service to meet learning objectives and address real world issues.  Students will also receive service education, exposure and experiences that will enhance their awareness of local, state and global topics.

SingleCare is a free-to-use prescription discount service that negotiates low prices with pharmacies so you can afford the medications you need.

VolunteerUNITED can help connect your team to meaningful volunteer experiences. Whether it’s a one-day activity or long-term team-building project, VolunteerUNITED is available to assist you through the entire process.

Our volunteer opportunities are organized to support United Way of Northeast Louisiana’s community impact work in education, financial stability, and health, all while meeting your organization’s community engagement goals.


211 is an easy to remember phone number that connects you to information and resource providers in your area. Best of all, it's FREE!