Live (and Learn) United

Southeastern's newly founded Student United Way chapter is the first and only in Louisiana

Monday, November 11, 2013 4:18:29 PM CST

Live and Learn United

There's a new student organization on campus, and this one can claim it is the first and only of its kind in Louisiana. Established at the start of the fall semester, Southeastern's Student United Way is already making a big impact on campus and in the community.

Student United Way works closely with the Southeast Louisiana United Way to help partner agencies in the local community. From serving at the Ronald McDonald House of Greater New Orleans on a Saturday to having a presence at the popular on-campus event "Mocktails," the Student United Way is working hard to establish itself as a dynamic student organization.

Plans to create Southeastern's Student United Way began early in the spring semester when a group of students began seeking ways to help the local community in an organized and frequent manner. The organization was approved as an official chapter in August, joining approximately 70 other Student United Way chapters at universities, community colleges and high schools across the nation.

"Young people across the country are helping to improve their local communities by giving, advocating and volunteering in the areas of education, income and health. This powerful movement called Student United Way is helping to advance the common good," said Jamene Dahmer, senior vice president of United Way of Southeast Louisiana. "Southeastern's Student United Way is cultivating a new generation of humanitarians and philanthropists for Tangipahoa Parish and beyond."

Led by President Orlando George, Student United Way has big plans for the rest of the semester. The organization recently collected new and gently used winter gear – such as coats, scarves and socks – for the local community during its Warm Nights clothing drive and will distribute the items during the fall and winter season.

Also slated for November is the organization's Young Entrepreneurs event, where students who own businesses can learn to market their goods and services. For a $15 fee, students can also reserve a table to sell their products in the Student Union during the event on Nov. 13.

With the holiday season approaching, Student United Way is already thinking of ways to help the local community. The organization will "adopt" a local family to provide Thanksgiving dinner and winter gear collected during Warm Nights. There are also plans to participate Southeastern's Toys from the Heart drive to collect toys for local children.

"Southeastern's Student United Way is setting the example for the future, building new relationships and forging the paths for students throughout Louisiana to give back to their communities," said Donna Bliss, executive director of United Way of Southeast Louisiana's Tangipahoa Region.

New members are encouraged to join Student United Way. Dues are $5. The organization meets every other Tuesday at 5:30 in room 229 of the Student Union, with the next meeting scheduled for Nov. 19. For questions about upcoming Student United Way events, email

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