SMILE Community Action is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that focuses on three parishes- Lafayette, St. Martinville, and New Iberia.
SMILE is part of a legacy that dates back to the 1960s. That’s when President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society programs were enacted, resulting in the creation of community action agencies nationwide. The concept of a tri-parish agency – serving St. Martin, Iberia and Lafayette Parishes – was developed through the efforts of pioneers such as Dr. James Oliver, Mr. Dennis David and Mr. Carlton James, who were formerly associated with Acadiana Neuf, as well as newcomers such as Mr. Charles Finley, Mr. L.L. Broussard, Mr. William Prade and Mrs. Jessie Taylor. These concerned citizens became the principal architects of what is now known as the St. Martin, Iberia, Lafayette Community Action Agency or SMILE.
As the Agency looks to the future, painstaking efforts are taken to ensure that SMILE remains true to its primary mission – serving the needs of the impoverished. The founding fathers would indeed be pleased to know that the torch has been passed without cessation or deviation these many years. While challenges are ahead, the concept of People Helping People is remains the guiding force – interwoven in SMILE’s history.
SMILE provides a wide array of programs for the chosen communities. Transportation, emergency assistance, rent/mortgage assistance, utility assistance, group mentoring, one on one counseling, and several more services. Each program has its own eligibility requirements. For more information, please view the website.