By Trista Stout-Walker, Vice President of Community Impact

As we celebrate the events and holidays this month, it has given me the opportunity to have a teachable moment with my family. My oldest asked me why I was off on Monday, June 20. I was able to serve as my child’s teacher and explain Juneteenth. I used the discussion to stress the importance of kindness and recognizing human dignity. I watered the seed of humility, and hopefully, it will grow within my daughter. It is tough being a parent, but I am grateful that I can have open conversations with my girls. Southwest Alabama can learn from past mistakes and be open to equality.

By Trista Stout-Walker, Vice President of Community Impact

Access to Mental Health services continues as a present need for our community, especially over these past two years. UWSWA and 2-1-1 are collaborating with the Mobile County Health Department to pivot the Covid Wrap-Around Services to focus on mental health for those affected by Covid-19. I am proud that we are creating an additional venue for community members to access mental health resources.

The United Way of Southwest Alabama (UWSWA) will hold its 28th Annual Day of Caring, one of the region’s largest single days of volunteerism on May 6, 2022

Day of Caring volunteers witness first-hand how their support makes a difference as they paint and make repairs, plant trees and ready gardens for planting, sort food donations, and help our agencies complete projects they do not have the time or resources to do throughout the year. Volunteers also have the opportunity to hear the stories of those whose lives have been impacted because of the donations made to the UWSWA.

United Way of Southwest Alabama (UWSWA) announced Kimberly D. Bell as a new Manager of Donor Relations. She will work out of our downtown Mobile location. Kimberly was born and raised in Mobile and graduated from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University with a B.S. in Secondary English Education. She was a dedicated educator for 13 years in the Mobile County Public School System. She decided to enter the nonprofit sector by a desire to have a greater impact on social issues in our community. Her experiences have equipped her with the tools to effect change on a broader scale through her new appointment to UWSWA.

By Trista Stout-Walker, Vice President of Community Impact

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month and I am here to tell you that United Way of Southwest Alabama (UWSWA) has the best volunteers by far. In April we like to encourage volunteerism, and we are off to a great start. Just last week, three student groups from the University of South Alabama completed projects to benefit UWSWA’s partner agencies in Mobile County. These projects supported educational and essential initiatives at the agencies. The volunteers provided time and many hands to support each’s agency’s mission to offer health and human support services.

Phins Apparel will host the Inaugural Phins Fishing Classic (PFC) in eight Southern states and will benefit over 240 United Ways. The goal of this tournament is to raise funds and awareness for United Way, as well as connect anglers to their local United Way chapter. The net proceeds will be divided between the United Ways based on how many anglers participate in each community. Locally, the United Way of Southwest Alabama (UWSWA) will benefit from the anglers fishing in Choctaw, Clarke, Mobile, and Washington Counties. The tournament kicks off on April 9 and continues through May 1, 2022.

By Trista Stout-Walker, Vice President of Community Impact

I was asked to write about women in my life who left a positive influence on my journey. That task sends me back to the beginning. It begins with my mother, grandmothers, great- grandmother, aunts, and great aunt. All of these women shed light on the importance of spirituality, bravery, advocacy, leadership, kindness, and determination. All were servant leaders who volunteered and cared for others in the community. All advocated for others who were facing domestic violence, addiction, and mental health. They taught me to work hard, have faith, trust in yourself, and remember to love and care for yourself. As you can see, I was always destined to work at a nonprofit.

Do you want to join the team?