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United Way NWLA receives major grant for COVID-19 emergency response


SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – United Way of Northwest Louisiana has been awarded an $80,000 grant from Kansas City Southern to support the organization’s emergency response to the coronavirus.

The funds from KCS will go towards two UWNWLA programs:

  • $20,000 will go to the United for NWLA Fund, which provides direct financial assistance to ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families currently struggling due to the pandemic.
  • The remaining funds will underwrite United Way’s 211 Information and Resource Helpline, a program that connects callers to other nonprofit and governmental resources, such as food pantries, rental assistance, health and mental health care. The 211 Information and Resource Helpline also coordinates access to emergency and disaster resources during times of crisis.

President and CEO of United Way of Northwest Louisiana Dr. Bruce Willson, Jr. said, “The response from our corporate partners and their support for our COVID-19 pandemic and emergency efforts have been overwhelming. The grant from Kansas City Southern will allow us to not only provide emergency assistance to those in need due to the pandemic, but it will also help increase access to many other community resources through 211for all residents in Northwest Louisiana. We are incredibly thankful to Kansas City Southern for their support of this community during this difficult time.”

During the COVID-19 emergency, crisis calls into 211 call centers have more than doubled. Louisiana Association of United Ways, Louisiana Department of Health, and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness are all promoting 211 as the leading resource for up-to-date COVID-19 information and assistance.

KCS president and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer said, “Kansas City Southern is proud to support the Northwest Louisiana area in its fight to stop the spread of the coronavirus and help provide relief from the economic consequences it has brought.”

For more information on the United for NWLA Fund and 211, go

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