Making a Real Impact


No Longer in the Dark


“Returning home from the hospital while recovering from blood clots and a stroke, I faced another challenge—a power outage. Chickasaw Police Officer Taylor discovered that the wiring leading to my powerbox was damaged, leaving me in the dark and facing a hefty repair bill I couldn’t afford. The United Way of Southwest Alabama coordinated with Alabama Power and South Alabama Electric to fix the problem. United Way also provided the funding for the repairs. There service team arrived and worked until midnight to restore power. Their kindness overwhelmed me. I felt like they were angels sent to help me. Sitting in my lit home, I reflected on the support of my community. It is amazing what people will do for a complete stranger. I will never forget you.”

— Shelia Chandler – United Way Disaster Services

Beginning with the Basics


“The Basics Southwest Alabama Program has been a game-changer for me and my family. It’s all about having the tools we need to build a brighter future for all of us. I learned a lot of The Basic skills that I can use at home with my kids. Patience and more love for my children were big takeaways for me. When reading with my kids, I started with simple books and moved up to 4th-grade level ones. It’s been a journey, but we’re making progress together. The Basics is the way to go. It’s made such a difference for us.”

— A mother of two participating in United Way’s The Basics Southwest Alabama

Filing Made Easy

Financial Stability

“I am Linda Ingram, and I searched online for free tax service near me as a senior citizen. It was my first time using a service like this. I felt it was as professional as anything I have ever done. Not only was Deborah extremely helpful, but Lee also double-checked and proofed everything Deborah had done. I am walking out a happy person. I was going to file a standard form because I am on a limited income, but instead, I tried VITA. They helped me immensely and saved me some money on things my granddaughter didn’t even know about. I will recommend using the VITA program to all my friends and neighbors.”

— Linda Ingram – United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program participant

Health Education


“This has been an unexpected, crazy ride for us as a family especially. We spent many months confused and upon talking to Sara Franklin at the Epilepsy Foundation of Alabama, we knew we had to get additional testing. The Epilepsy Foundation personally helped me so much in educating me during our child’s diagnosis. Most of everything I’ve learned is from their team. They encourage other families to reach out to the Epilepsy Foundation for assistance with education, information and referral services, and more specifically related to epileptic spasms and specifically absence seizures.”

— Parent of 4th grader with Epilepsy in Clarke County

Educate to Elevate

Financial Stability

“I thought it would be easy, picking up a job and supporting myself. I found out pretty quickly that without a high school diploma, I wasn’t going to get very far. Not having it made me feel less than what I was. I met a Goodwill employee who was also in the YES Program, and l decided to sign up also. It took more effort than I thought it was going to—I had to walk from where I was living with my grandmother, to the classes on Schillinger Road. I got a job at the restaurant next door, part-time so I could focus on studying. I received so much help from this program. If I couldn’t make it to class, I would drop in when I could, and the teacher would send home materials for me to study. Because of this program, I now have my high school diploma, a forklift certification, a Certified Logistics Associate, a better job at Amazon with a significant pay increase, and my own apartment and I’m working on joining the Coast Guard. No matter how hard it got, it was all worth it. This program helped me so much I wish I had started sooner. I also wish more people knew about it so they could benefit from it also.”
— Bailey Rector – Goodwill Gulf Coast Yes Program Graduate