Lauren Luckie-Merz, serving as the Manager of Donor Relations since May 2nd, 2022, was initially drawn to the United Way by its clear and impactful mission: to improve the quality of life in the community. With a strong dedication to her hometown of Mobile, Alabama, Lauren felt a deep-rooted motivation to contribute to its betterment. Her professional journey before joining the United Way was deeply entrenched in the non-profit sector. Beginning her career in higher educational fundraising at Spring Hill College and later serving as the Coordinator of Development at United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile, Lauren accrued valuable experience and developed a profound understanding of how partnerships, like that with the United Way, can significantly influence and drive mission success.

Leslie C. Schraeder has been an integral part of the United Way of Southwest Alabama since June 2, 2014, contributing nearly 10 years of dedication to the organization. Initially drawn to this role through an invitation to apply, Leslie’s passion for service agencies inspired her desire to make a meaningful impact within the community. Her professional journey began with nonprofit agencies like The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama, followed by roles at the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation and Bellingrath Gardens and Home, shaping her diverse skill set and experience.

Early childhood education is the foundation for a brighter future, and we’re excited to share how you can be a part of this incredible journey!

Did you know that early childhood education plays a crucial role in brain development and school readiness? United Way of Southwest Alabama believes that every child deserves the best start in life, and that’s why we support childhood education through our amazing programs – “The Basics Southwest Alabama” and “Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.”

Board of Trustee Spotlight: Mark J. Burnett, Jr.

United Way of Southwest Alabama is privileged to spotlight Mark J. Burnett, Jr., an esteemed member of our board, whose commitment to community betterment and leadership has left an indelible mark on our region. Mark serves as the Business Manager for UA Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 119, embodying dedication to his role by focusing on putting members to work, safeguarding the local’s signatory contractors, overseeing jurisdictional compliance, and managing day-to-day operations.

As we embrace the holiday season and the spirit of giving, we are reaching out to you, a valued supporter of the United Way of Southwest Alabama. Your dedication to our cause has been instrumental in empowering our community and transforming countless lives. Together, we’ve impacted the lives of 242,216 individuals served by United Way and our partner agencies, and with your continued support, we can do even more in the coming year.

In today’s increasingly digital world, let’s ‘Stand Up and Speak Up’ for unity. We’re all part of this interconnected world, with content accessible at the click of a button. It’s our shared responsibility to champion digital inclusion.

November 13th – 17th marks Recite Me’s Accessibility To Me Awareness Week, a key date in our calendar where we celebrate accessibility and share with others how we can champion inclusion.

Nichole A. Edwards stands as a dedicated and dynamic force for positive change. As a Senior Market Advisor at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Nichole’s job focus centers on cultivating community relationships and establishing business partnerships within the Medicare community. However, her commitment to serving her community goes far beyond her professional responsibilities.

Do you want to join the team?