Volunteers of America of North Louisiana – Central Louisiana Division today received a $50,000 contribution to assist with implementing a new program, Building Empowerment through Skills and Training (BEST). The grant – which was given to the non-profit organization through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program – will provide 100 women the opportunity to gain essential skills to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Women who face barriers including poverty, domestic violence, lack of child care and social support will be empowered with skills necessary to better their lives and the lives of their families.

“We can’t serve the whole world, but we can make a difference for 100 women in Central Louisiana who in turn will make a difference for the next generation and generations to come,” said Donna Capps, Volunteers of America of North Louisiana – Central Louisiana Division Senior Program Director. “We appreciate Walmart providing the funds to make it possible for us to empower women in need.”

The grant was presented to Volunteers of America of North Louisiana – Central Louisiana Division Senior Program Director Donna Capps during a check presentation ceremony held Wednesday at Volunteers of America offices in Alexandria. During the ceremony, Walmart Market Manager Derald Cupp presented the check and received a tour of the facility which includes a Walmart-funded computer lab and business attire for BEST participants.

“The Walmart Foundation is very pleased to be supporting Volunteers of America in Central Louisiana, and are committed to helping those in need in the communities where we serve,” said Walmart Market Manager Derald Cupp. “Through this grant, we are hopeful that women in Central Louisiana will gain greater access to life skills leading to self-empowerment and job opportunities.”

Volunteers of America of North Louisiana – Central Louisiana Division began serving Central Louisiana in 1986 and impacts the lives of more than 2,500 men, women and children annually. The organization has helped homeless individuals find a place to live, assisted women through pregnancy, stabilized people with mental illness and taught adults to read. Volunteers of America is a United Way agency and is funded through government grants, foundations and private donations. Volunteers of America of North Louisiana – Central Louisiana Division supports a new beginning for families, independence for people with disabilities and opportunities for children in eight parishes that cover Central Louisiana. Volunteers of America strives to help the members of their community to live healthy, safe and productive lives.

The contribution to Volunteers of America was made possible through the Walmart Foundation’s Louisiana State Giving Program. Through this program, the Walmart Foundation supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better. The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program strives to award grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.

Last year in Louisiana, Walmart, Sam’s Club locations and the Walmart Foundation awarded more than $20,780,800 to local organizations.

To be considered for support, perspective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application. Applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum eligibility criteria. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online at www.walmartfoundation.org/stategiving.

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