United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA) proudly spotlights Toni Tyner, board member, and outstanding volunteer, in celebration of her dedication as a volunteer fundraiser, community leader, and advocate. UWNWLA’s mission is to fight for the health, education, financial stability, and essential needs of everyone in our community, and Toni has played a crucial role in our organization’s success. She served as the UWNWLA Workplace Campaign Ambassador for Progressive Bank, resulting in the company’s increased giving in 2023. She also helped secure funding and volunteers for our annual Day of Caring celebration. Most recently, Toni assisted UWNWLA in registering children attending Pre-K at Pine Grove Elementary for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a program that provides free, age-appropriate books to children to help them become kindergarten-ready. Toni Tyner’s unwavering commitment and exceptional fundraising skills have provided a solid foundation for our organization’s continued success. Her leadership and dedication have left an indelible mark on our achievements, and we are honored to have the opportunity to highlight all she has done for us and our community.
What inspires Toni Tyner about United Way of Northwest Louisiana's mission?
Growing up in a large family, I learned the value of being united at an early age. It is a fact that at some point in everyone’s life, they will need to lean on another for help. United Way is dedicated to helping people from all walks and stages of life. Not only are they proactive with their services through their education efforts and boots-on-the-ground approach, but they are there when life is at its worst. In early adulthood, I personally benefited from United Way’s services. To echo the late poet, Theodore Roosevelt, “People may not remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” The overwhelming gratitude for the support I received remains constant in me. This motivates and inspires me to support United Way and its mission to evoke this emotion in others.
In what ways do you personally gain purpose from the work you do for United Way?
My professional area of expertise is financial literacy. However, I find an overall personal purpose in helping others in any way possible. I know firsthand the value of financial literacy and how understanding money management, banking, and investing can be a catalyst to choosing a life that breaks away from generational poverty or relies upon passed-down generational wealth. A health enthusiast in my own right, I regard health as wealth. Spreading awareness throughout the community of the services provided by United Way, such as the Single Care Prescription Discount program, the Financial Empowerment Center, and a multitude of other services, allows me to fulfill my purpose of being a service to others.
What shorter- and longer-term goals keep you passionate and motivated to continue working with the United Way?
I am dedicated to improving the quality of life of members of our community. I aspire to see more stable homeowners and financial literacy programs that result in financial stability for the underprivileged, a better quality of life because of proper healthcare access to food and services that support holistic, healthy living, and adequate education for children to create more opportunities for productive adulthood. My short-term goal is to donate as much free time as possible, sharing my professional talents and personal experiences to achieve long-term goals. Healthy living and financial stability can enhance the overall quality of life.