President’s Desk

United Way of Southwest Alabama / President’s Desk

In November, the Nonprofit World Celebrates itself – Nonprofit Awareness Month.  I have struggled to write this Blog and still am.  I have spent the majority of my life working in the nonprofit realm and see daily the amazing work that occurs in our community because of the generosity of individuals and businesses and because of the individuals who have dedicated their lives to improving the quality of life through social services, health care, the arts or the environment – nonprofits in our community work in all of these fields and do improve the quality of life.

Sometimes, old dogs and old broads can learn new tricks or remember old life lessons.

Yesterday, my partner Jack and I had the privilege of retrieving a dog to foster until he finds a permanent home or returns to his family in the Irish Channel in New Orleans.  As I spoke with Debbie Stephens, the wonderful woman who facilitated the rescue and fostering, I said some unkind things about my foster dog’s family and stated that I did not think they should get him back if they return home or settle somewhere else.

I have a confession to make. I am currently suffering from depression.  This is not an easy confession for me to make.  I have everything that I physically need. I have the career of my dreams. I have a loving family. I have devoted staff. I have the best partners in crime, aka my friends. Yet, somehow, I have slumped into a funk that I can’t seem to crawl out of.

A friend and a colleague both confessed to me on Wednesday that they are in the throes of depression.  Why are three CEO’s of nonprofits in Mobile experiencing depression?

I have spent the last two days analyzing this.  Here are my theories.

July marks the celebration of National Culinary Arts Month and celebrates the professional cooks and chefs who bring innovative, unique cuisine from their kitchens to our tables.

As I write this blog, I can’t help but think of how many individuals in the food service industry suffered so much loss in the past 15 months due to COVID-19 and to natural disasters. The professional cooks and chefs could not showcase their kitchens to our tables.

As with everything else in 2020, the UWSWA’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program was stalled until we decided that so many people in our community needed assistance with their taxes. Under UWSWA’s Brad Martin’s leadership, the VITA volunteers completed 822 returns which generated $898,677.00 in returns – this does not include money saved from the returns being done for free. These numbers reflect through August of 2020.


The United Way of Southwest Alabama’s 46 partner agencies provide services in four counties – Choctaw, Clarke, Mobile and Washington.  These partner agencies serve as our communities’ safety nets because of the services they provide to our neighbors, friends and family members not only in their times of need but daily.  The partner agencies provide a holistic approach to providing services through partnering and collaborating with each other, local and national businesses, local governments, school systems, plus state and federal agencies. They understand the importance of working on the collective goal of strengthening our communities, so that the people in need can have better lives and so that business and industry can have a sustainable workforce.