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As Christmas draws near, so does the end of our 2019 “Take Action” campaign season. Holidays are a wonderful time where we cherish the gift of our loved ones and also take some time to share generosity with those in need. Free meals, toy drives and holiday bell ringers all remind us to be grateful for what we have and mindful of those who are not as fortunate.
Though the holidays can be especially warm for families in need, the cheer often does not spread far beyond December. January approaches and so do the realities of bills and basic necessities that can be difficult to come by. Such is the case for the nearly 30 percent of Southwest Louisiana residents who are Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed, ALICE.
Previously referred to as “working poor,” these families live above the federal poverty level, making them ineligible for public assistance like food stamps, childcare waivers or Medicaid. While “too rich” for public assistance, they are only one major medical emergency, missed paycheck or similar crisis away from ruin.
Perhaps one of the largest tragedies of the ALICE population is that they are working among us every day, yet we don’t realize that they struggle to afford basic expenses like housing, childcare, food, transportation, health care, cell phone access and taxes. They are our waiters and waitresses, childcare providers, aides for the elderly, cashiers and mechanics; people we rely on daily, yet they have very little to rely on.
United Way of Southwest Louisiana exists to bridge the gap between holiday benevolence and year-round realities. Your donation directly supports local agencies who are meeting critical needs for this often-overlooked population. “Take Action” by December 31 and join the fight!
Categories: President's Blog