Lafayette’s community spirit extends into the nonprofit realm, as so many organizations fulfill their mission to help others. United Way of Acadiana leads the way with a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a history of disaster relief and recovery. Lafayette also has active chapters of the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs, along with nonprofits in the areas of health care, education, arts, culture and general community services.
Goodwill Industries of Acadiana has been a part of the community for more than 25 years and operates seven donation centers and 13 retail stores across the parish. While Goodwill’s work begins with donations, purchases of those donations go toward service programs like adult education, which helps people get their diploma, or employment programs that provide work readiness and job placement services.
The community’s nonprofit organizations also contribute to the social landscape with annual galas and events to raise funds and rally volunteers for their respective causes. In 2018, United Way of Acadiana launched Summer of Action, bringing together several community projects and hundreds of volunteers. The Outreach Center for Women and Children has held a winter Palates and Pate gala for more than 10 years to benefit homeless women and children. The Family Tree introduced a “Safe Space” program for children of abuse in 2018, and Kiwanis Club of Acadiana’s Zydeco Pancake Breakfast in October benefits the club’s community programs by serving up pancakes set to live Zydeco music.
“As nonprofits, we are able to work together to provide resources and services to the community through a variety of programs and community events, so that we can reach our goals of strengthening individuals and families. Stronger and healthier families leads to a stronger and healthier community.”
Executive Director of The Family Tree