Author: Leslie Schraeder

United Way of Southwest Alabama / Articles posted by Leslie Schraeder (Page 11)

By Trista Stout-Walker, Vice President of Community Impact

My favorite holiday song is Let it Snow. I know, to live in South Alabama and dream of snow is far-fetched, but I have personal experience with snow. As a child, we lived on a strawberry farm in Benton, Maine for about a year. I remember the snow and the experience through the eyes of the child. I would walk out into the yard and sink into the snow up to my waist. I even owned a snowsuit, one very similar to the one featured in A Christmas Story.

AARP Alabama Announces Relief Funding from AARP Foundation to Support Victims of Hurricane Ida

AARP Alabama CONTACT  – Jamie Harding, 205-470-1265,, @jhardingAL

Today, AARP Alabama announced new disaster relief funding from AARP Foundation to support victims of Hurricane Ida. The $150,000 grant will be given to United Way of Southwest Alabama to provide direct assistance to those in need in Lower Alabama. This includes services for older adults directly impacted by hurricane-related flooding and property damage. The funding is part of 10 grants from AARP Foundation totaling $2 million to organizations in the hardest hit states along the Gulf and East Coasts.

By Trista Stout-Walker, Vice President of Community Impact

Let’s talk about connections. One of the highlights of living in a small town is that everybody knows everybody, and you are connected to everyone that you encounter in some way, shape, or form. I have a personal theory that in the South, it is 3° of separation. These connections play a vital role in access to information and services.

On October 15, United Way of Southwest Alabama (UWSWA) celebrated the Project Blueprint (PBP) graduation of the Class of 2021. This year, seventeen participants from Mobile and Washington Counties completed the twenty-one hour comprehensive curriculum that covered the detailed workings of UWSWA, the responsibilities and functions of volunteer boards, time management, leadership training and team...

Brad Martin, VITA Program Coordinator, came to United Way in 2013. He is very passionate about helping people achieve financial stability. “I think that so many people today are just not equipped to manage their finances,” he said. “I help people with their taxes, but can also talk them through the steps of filing and refer them to other people to help them get in a better situation than they were before.

By Trista Stout-Walker, Vice President of Community Impact

I love a good screen shot of an uplifting message from social media. While preparing for this blog, I was inspired by a quote from William James, “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” In October, many causes celebrate “awareness month,” and many are near and dear to my heart. While spreading awareness, you may participate in a walk to raise funds for breast cancer research or wear purple on October 21st for Domestic Violence Awareness. These simple acts serve as outreach and conversation starters. You are planting the seed of your advocacy and service within another person. I classify these moments as small victories!

Mary Clare Tortorice, Manager of Donor Relations, came to work at United Way of Southwest Alabama because she was inspired to make a difference during the Covid-19 pandemic. “For a countless number of years I have heard about United Way of Southwest Alabama, but when the Covid-19 pandemic hit our service area, I was ready to help a nonprofit that was eager to serve Mobile during times of uncertainty,” she said. “That is when I landed at the doors of United Way of Southwest Alabama.”