United Way of Southwest Alabama / Uncategorized  / Resource Development  / Resource Development Blog: Looking Forward
Resource Development Blog B&W photo - young girl look toward the east,, shading the sun from her eyes. And older woman is the blurred in the background facing the same direction.

Resource Development Blog: Looking Forward

Resource Development Blog: Looking Forward
By: Lauren Luckie, Manager of Donor Relations

The final days of the first month in a new year are always fascinating to me. It is a time to take stock on where one stands on their New Year’s Resolutions. As I reflect on the challenges, growth, and joyous moments that happened this month, I am called to pause and reflect. What can be adjusted moving forward? Despite my best intentions, I find that king cake has already put a damper on my commitment to eating less sugar. Other than that, at the close of this year’s “chapter one”, there is much to look forward to.

As I begin this second chapter of 2023, I set the intention of moving forward with both my own personal goals and the collective goals of United Way of Southwest Alabama (UWSWA). What type of community do I want to see at the end of 2023, at the end of 2024, at the end of 2030? About a year ago, I was scrolling through TikTok, and came upon a video that struck a chord. The user stated, “If you want to build community, you need to be proactive and consistent”. That is such a simple notion, possibly even obvious, but in practice this can be challenging for many.

UWSWA has been the leader in community building for nearly a century. There are reasons why we often affectionately refer to UWSWA and our Partner Agencies as the Community Safety Net. In large part, it is because of the proactivity and the consistency of the 46 organizations that makeup the UWSWA network. Just this week, on January 24th, UWSWA marked 96 years since the launch of the first campaign in 1927. Ninety-six years of bringing non-profit organizations and local businesses together to fund lifesaving programs for our neighbors. This is all driven by a desire to improve the quality of life in OUR community.

But, what about the smaller communities that exist within this larger umbrella? One group that immediately comes to mind for me is UWSWA’s Emerging Leaders (EL) affiliate group. This group is made up of young professionals (ages 21-40) who either donate a certain amount of money or volunteer hours annually in support of UWSWA’s mission. Over the last several months, I have been working closely with the EL Steering Committee to plan new events for this group with the focus being to improve our community through networking and philanthropy! Within this group there is a lot to look forward to.

First off, the ELs are hosting a Mardi Gras Social scheduled for Thursday, February 9th. The event will consist of networking, food from Taco Mama and Pollman’s Bake Shop, a beer tasting presented by SweetWater Brewing Company, and other refreshments. This is a free event, but we are asking that attendees pre-register at At the start of 2023’s second chapter, this group is aiming to build community among our peers through volunteerism. Our aim is to build bonds and relationships which will allow for a more impactful experience in the months and years to come.

I hope to see you at the event in February. We welcome any current or aspiring Emerging Leaders. We also welcome any business leaders that want to meet the next generation of servant leaders or learn how the young professionals within their own organizations can get involved!

To learn more about Emerging Leaders and our other Leadership Giving Societies, visit:


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