Debra Morgan of WRAL To Emcee United Way’s Campaign Kick-Off

Join the United Way of Chatham County and ten-time Emmy Award winner, Debra Morgan of WRAL for an afternoon of celebration at the 2017 Campaign Kick-Off & Annual Meeting.  It will be held in the clubhouse ballroom of Governors Club on Wednesday, September 6 from 11:30 am – 2:00 pm.

Morgan, who has reported and anchored for WRAL news for more than 24 years, will emcee the event.  “We are excited that Debra will join us for the biggest event United Way hosts each year,” said United Way Executive Director Dina Reynolds.  “We will honor and recognize the outstanding efforts of last year’s campaign volunteers, as well as kick-off this year’s campaign.”

The keynote speaker is Chatham Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Touchstone.  He will deliver a state of the county address focused on economic development and growth.  Touchstone will be joined by Preston Development Company Executive Vice President Vanessa Jenkins, who will give an update on the progress of Chatham Park.

Musical entertainment will be provided by Sue Wilson on the hammered dulcimer and Betsy Kraus on the concertina. Lunch will be catered by Governors Club.

The event will also feature a United Way member agency expo that will provide guests with an opportunity to learn about the human resource services available in our community.  Representatives will be available to share information regarding the services they provide and the volunteer opportunities they offer.  United Way is the advocate and the benefactor of 20 human service agencies in Chatham County.  They are:  The Boys & Girls Club, Chatham Cares Pharmacy, 4-H, Chatham Housing Initiative, Chatham Literacy Council, Chatham Soccer League, Chatham Trades, Chatham Transit, Communities In Schools, CORA Food Pantry, Council on Aging, El Futuro, Girl Scouts, Legal Aid, Partnership for Children, Reach Out and Read, Rebuilding Together, Salvation Army, The Learning Trail and West Chatham Food Pantry.

Tickets are $25 per person.  Reserve yours by calling the United Way office at (919) 542-1110 by Friday, September 1.

Debra Morgan of WRAL will Emcee the 2017 Campaign Kick-Off.

Chatham Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Touchstone will be the keynote speaker for the event.

Executive Vice President of Preston Development Company Vanessa Jenkins will give an update on the progress of the development of Chatham Park.

Sue Wilson and Betsy Kraus will provide entertainment.

Posted in Campaign, Events

School Supply Drive a Success!

The 2017 United Way Build a Backpack school supply drive was a huge success thanks to the support of local businesses, churches and community members. The drive collected backpacks, notebooks, binders, paper, pencils, crayons and other school supplies. Almost 300 backpacks were donated this year, making it the most successful drive yet! Supplies were distributed to school children around the county through Chatham County Department of Social Services Foster Care Program, Communities In Schools and the Chatham County Schools’ Basic Needs Program.

Area businesses and churches that collected school supplies for the drive include: 3M, Briar Chapel, Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church, Chapel Ridge, Chatham County DSS, David Weekley Homes, Eastern Chatham Senior Center, Governors Club, Pittsboro Presbyterian Church, Realty World Carolina Properties, Virginia Cross Elementary School, Siler City and Chapel Hill Walmarts and the Western Chatham Senior Center.

Jim Zieglmeier and Gary Crecelius showcase the supplies donated by employees at 3M.

United Way Staff Members assemble backpacks generously donated by Chatham residents.

Students from the Boys and Girls Club in Siler City are excited for their new supplies!

Posted in Events

United Way Begins “Build A Backpack” Campaign

The United Way of Chatham County will hold its annual back-to-school supply drive on Monday, July 17 through Friday, August 4.

Community members are asked to donate school supplies for children in need.  Items may be dropped off at the United Way office at 72 Hillsboro Street in Pittsboro, as well as at several participating businesses throughout the county.

United Way coordinates the drive and distributes materials collected to Chatham County Schools, Chatham County Department of Social Services and Communities in Schools.  These organizations identify students in need of basic school supplies and work with United Way to meet that need.

Fourteen percent of Chatham residents live at or below the federal poverty level, according to the United States Census Bureau.  Poverty level for a family of four is $24,600.  In addition, 52% of Chatham’s school children receive free or reduced-cost lunch.  According to the Kids Count Data Center, 6% are also experiencing homelessness.

“The primary need is for backpacks, especially laptop backpacks for the high school children,” said Rosemarie Rovito, Basic Needs Coordinator for Chatham County Schools, “There is also a great need for composition notebooks, pocket folders, three-ring binders, subject dividers, notebook paper, crayons, colored pencils, pens, pencils, glue sticks, highlighters, hand sanitizer, rulers, scientific calculators, pencil pouches, pencil sharpeners and erasers.”

Drop-off locations in Siler City include: Walmart, the Western Chatham Senior Center and Virginia Cross Elementary School.

Drop-off locations in Pittsboro are:  Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church, Chapel Ridge, Chatham County DSS, Eastern Chatham Senior Center, Pittsboro Presbyterian Church, Realty World/Carolina Properties, United Way and Walmart.

Monetary donations can be mailed to the United Way of Chatham County at P.O. Box 1066, Pittsboro, NC, 27344.  Checks should be made out to United Way, with “Build a Backpack” in the memo portion.  One hundred percent of donations will be used to buy school supplies.

“Last year, the back-to-school supply drive provided school supplies for over 300 children in need,” said United Way of Chatham County Director Dina Reynolds.  “Education for our children is the greatest investment a community can make.”

Those in need of school supplies should contact their child’s school guidance counselor.  They will contact the Basic Needs Coordinator for Chatham County Schools to make arrangements for your child to receive the supplies that are required by their teacher.

For more information about donating schools supplies, contact “Build A Backpack” Coordinator Alane Coore at the United Way of Chatham County office by phone at 542-1110 or by e-mail at

Posted in Events

United Way of Chatham County, Triangle Community Foundation and Chatham County Announce 2017-18 Collaborative Grant Winner


PITTSBORO, NC— United Way of Chatham County, Triangle Community Foundation and Chatham County Government announce the winner of their second grant focused on a collaborative approach to a major challenge in Chatham County. This year the grant focused on collaborative approaches to family stability.

The winning project, Learning Institute/Instituto de Aprendizaje, involves two nonprofits, Communities in Schools of Chatham County (CISCC) and the Chatham County Literacy Council (CCLC). The project will receive $30,000 for 2017-18 to pioneer in-depth services for 20 families and 30 Siler City students in grades K-8 who are considered at risk for school failure.

“We are all so excited about funding a project that will allow two established nonprofits to work in tandem to serve the entire family, especially in a part of the county where this is greatly needed,” said Gina Andersen, Community Programs Officer, Triangle Community Foundation. “They will be demonstrating collaboration that will no doubt lead to other joint efforts.”

CISCC and CCLC staff will coordinate The Institute, which will offer adult literacy programs, school events, guided exploration of community resources, access to healthy foods via CISCC’s Youth Community Garden, and other positive multigenerational activities. Using this model, parents will be able to improve their own personal literacy skills and develop relationships needed to support children’s learning and the family’s stability.  Many of the participating families likely will not be fluent in English.

The applicants noted several vital reasons why such “wrap-around” family services are needed in the Siler City area. Just a few include: limited education and social isolation of low-income parents; lower reading abilities and education levels than other parts of the county; a higher percentage of students (90%) at Chatham Middle School and Virginia Cross Elementary who qualify for free and reduced price meals; and 25% of Virginia Cross students who qualify for federal homeless services benefits.

“The Learning Institute will take aim at putting together all the pieces that go into stabilizing families, developing emotionally strong and healthy children, and preparing them to be active, positive members of the community,” said County Manager Renee Paschal.

United Way Executive Director Dina Reynolds added, “The model of collaboration outlined in this project is truly multi-dimensional and could be a great path for other nonprofits to consider in the future. The project also includes some potentially powerful measurable outcomes. We look forward to seeing where the Learning Institute leads us.”

CISCC (formerly Chatham County Together!) has been around since 1989. It was primarily focused on delinquency prevention services for at risk-youth ages 6-18 referred by schools, social services, courts, parents and other agencies. When it became an affiliate of the national Communities in Schools program in 2014, the nonprofit began to also offer on-site services at Chatham Middle School and Virginia Cross Elementary.

Kim Caraganis, executive director of CISCC, said, “Typically we focus our efforts on the youth we serve, with the exception for Family Advocacy program which focuses on families and youth referred through Juvenile Services. The Learning Institute will allow us to scale up our work with whole families in a way that benefits students being served through our CISCC school model programs. Also, throughout this new effort, we will be learning so much from our families about barriers to their participation and how to overcome them.”

The Chatham County Literacy Council (CCLC) helps adults, living or working in Chatham County acquire the literacy and educational skills they need to function successfully in society. This includes adult basic education, high school equivalency preparation and classes for people to become more fluent in English. They also help prepare people to take the US Citizenship test and have recently started a program to teach “workforce soft skills, which includes communications, teamwork, networking, problem solving, enthusiasm and professionalism.”

The director of CCLC, Vicki Newell, said, “Working with CIS seems like a natural fit for both of us.  This grant will allow CIS and Chatham Literacy the opportunity to provide services in a completely new and different way.  This is truly a holistic approach to serving the entire family.”

All three grant sponsors provided $10,000 to support the $30,000 grant, which is the second such grant offered. A panel of volunteers from the three agencies came together to review applications before selecting the Learning Institute.

Posted in Events

Collaborative Grant Opportunity

United Way of Chatham County, Triangle Community Foundation and Chatham County Government are joining together to offer a $30,000 grant focused on collaborative approaches to family stability. At least two nonprofits must come together in a multi-prong approach.

The first such collaborative grant opportunity in 2016 focused more specifically on affordable housing.  This year, the grant focus is family stability, which can include affordable housing, but also such elements as skills/education, youth development, food, employment, transportation, health, mental health and many other factors that help support strong, stable families.

The deadline to apply for the collaborative grant is April 13, 2017.  Applicants will be required to make presentations to a joint panel on May 4, 2017.  All nonprofits that are part of the application also must complete their financial certification with United Way of Chatham County by February 28, 2017.  Only one application will be selected and announced by May 15, 2017.

Successful applications must address a discrete project that is separate from other programs the agencies offer on a regular basis.  The project must be ready for implementation soon after July 1, 2017 and completed by June 30, 2018. One lead agency will be responsible for submitting the application through Triangle Community Foundation’s website, and will serve as the fiscal agent.

To find out more about the grant requirements and to submit an application, visit  If you have questions, please contact Gina Andersen, Community Programs Officer of the Triangle Community Foundation, by email ( or by phone (919-474-8370).


TCF LogoCounty Color LogoNewColorLogo


Posted in Grants, Organization

2017 Chatham LIVE Event

Chatham Live JPEGChatham LIVE 2017 will explore the lifecycles of nonprofits, including identifying the challenges and opportunities of each stage.  Whether your nonprofit is new, growing, or mature, this conference will offer you and your team information, tools, and facilitated discussion opportunities to promote your nonprofit’s health and sustainability.  Workshop topics will be customized to address the challenges and opportunities typically experienced in different lifecycle stages.  Maria Fibiger of Three Dog Consulting is the keynote speaker.

When:     Friday, March 24, 2017 from 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Where:    Holmes Conference Room, Chatham Community Library, 197 NC 87 Pittsboro, NC 27312
RSVP:     Registration Required

Cost:     $10 per attendee, fee waiver available here
Teams: We encourage organizations bring a team of two to four, including staff, board members, and volunteers.  Organizations that have a team represented will be entered to win prizes at the event. 

This event is hosted by: Central Carolina Community College, Chatham County, Chatham Chamber of Commerce, Triangle Community Foundation, & United Way of Chatham County

Posted in Events

Free Books For Children

United Way of Chatham County is teaming up with United Way of Greater Triangle to help distribute thousands of brand new free books to educators and providers serving children in need across the triangle area. Books for all age groups (infant-18 years) have been provided by First Book for distribution in Durham, Orange, Wake, Johnston and Chatham Counties.

Distribution will take place during National Volunteer Week 2017 (April 24-28) to those registered by March 15. Each organization is not limited to one registration – all individuals (teachers, care providers, etc.) who have a need are encouraged to register. Each registrant can expect to receive up to 25 books (class set).

All educators working in the below programs are encouraged to sign up with First Book today to get new books through this distribution.
First Book
• Head Start
• Title I or Title I eligible School
• USDA Food and Nutrition Program
• Federally Qualified Health Center
• Title VII recipient
• Military family support program
• Library with an E-rate of 90
• A program primarily serving children with disabilities
• A program where at least 70% of children come from low-income families.



1. Sign up online with First Book by March 15 at Signing up is free and takes only minutes to complete.

2. Keep an eye on your email. In early April, First Book will send information via email with details on how and where to receive free books for your kids. 

3. Help spread the word! If you know other teachers, program coordinators or community leaders serving kids in need anywhere around the Triangle area, please pass this email on and encourage them to sign up as well.

Sign up today and open the doors to a brighter future for the children you serve. 

Posted in Events

United Way & Chatham County Funding Application Workshop

A workshop to review the Chatham County and United Way funding application, as well as the entire FY18 allocations process, will be held on Thursday, January 19, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.  It will take place in the Holmes meeting room of the Chatham Community Library, which is located on the campus of Central Carolina Community College in Pittsboro.  The components of the application process, criteria used to evaluate proposals and the online application will be reviewed.

It is strongly recommended that all human service nonprofits planning to submit a request for funding attend this workshop.  To ensure that there are enough handouts and instructional materials for everyone, attendees are asked to RSVP for the workshop by Monday, January 16 by emailing the United Way office at

The application will be accessible beginning Thursday, January 19.  Last year’s application can be downloaded from the homepage of the application website in both Word and Adobe format at:

Applications must be submitted online by Tuesday, February 28.  A username and password are required to access the application website.  Login information will be distributed to agencies applying for the first time during the workshop.  Please don’t hesitate to contact the United Way office with any questions at (919) 542-1110 or


Posted in Events

Fearrington Campaign Kick-Off

The Fearrington Campaign team kicked off their annual fundraising effort for the United Way of Chatham County on Tuesday, September 20.  Hosted by Ian and Frances Dunn in their home, the event treated Fearrington residents, serving as neighborhood campaign captains, to delicious snacks while planning this year’s campaign timeline and activities.  There are 28 neighborhoods in Fearrington Village.  Each one has a captain to oversee fundraising efforts during the campaign.



Posted in Events

United Way Campaign Kick-Off Was A Great Success!

The United Way Campaign Kick-Off luncheon was held in the clubhouse ballroom at Governors Club Wednesday, September 7.  The event saw record-breaking attendance and hosted over 150 people.

United Way hosts the annual event to celebrate the prior year’s fundraising campaign and to kick off the upcoming year’s campaign.  The event featured local news personality Lynda Loveland as emcee.  The keynote speaker was Chatham Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Touchstone.  He delivered a state of the county address focused on economic development and growth.  Touchstone was joined by guest speaker Ken Atkins of Chatham Park, who presented an update on the progress of the development. Musical entertainment was provided by Sue Wilson on the hammered dulcimer and Betsy Kraus on the concertina.

There were 17 displays set up by United Way member agencies that portrayed the programs and services provided by the agencies and supported by United Way campaign contributions.  Sponsors for the event included:  AT&T, Briar Chapel by Newland Communities, Duke Energy, Governors Club, Nationwide Insurance and Realty World Carolina Properties.

Many residential communities, businesses and volunteers were recognized for their participation and efforts in the United Way annual campaign.  The residents of Governors Club were honored for their record-breaking campaign, raising more than ever before and more than any other residential community in the campaign’s history.  The Carolina Meadows Campaign saw the highest percentage of participation of all of the residential campaigns and have held this distinction for several years.  The Fearrington campaign had the second highest percentage of participation.  The campaign at Governors Village was recognized for having the greatest percentage of increase in their campaign results.

The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office received recognition for 100% participation last year, as they have for the last eleven years.  United Way Campaign Volunteer Julie Jones, Sheila Tally of Chatham County Schools and Courtney Goldston of the Chatham County Manager’s Office were recognized for outstanding campaign coordination.  Chatham Hospital and Chatham County Schools received the “Greatest Employee Spirit” Award.  3M was recognized for having the largest campaign, while Chandler Concrete and Chatham County Employees had the largest campaign increase.

United Way is the advocate and the benefactor to 18 outstanding human service agencies.  They are:  Boys & Girls Club, Chatham Cares Pharmacy, 4-H, Council on Aging, Literacy Council, Communities in Schools, Partnership for Children, Chatham Soccer League, Chatham Social Health Council (now known as WECAHN), Chatham Trades, CORA Food Pantry, El Futuro, Family Violence and Rape Crisis Services, Girl Scouts, Legal Aid, Rebuilding Together of the Triangle, Salvation Army and the West Chatham Food Pantry.


WRAl News Anchor Lynda Loveland poses with the United Way staff.


United Way Vice Chair Shawn McClarnon presented the Ormsbee Robinson Award to Corinne Houpt.


Working Together For A Brighter Day.


Suzanne Wise kicked off the 2016/2017 campaign with a motivational speech.

Posted in Events

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