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 www.trianglecf.org/nonprofits/grants/  If you have questions, please contact Gina Andersen, Community Programs Officer of the Triangle Community Foundation, by email (gina@trianglecf.org) or by phone (919-474-8370).


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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 http://www.firstbook.org/uwtriangle. 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. 

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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 uwaycc@emji.net.

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:  funding.chathamnc.org.

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 uwaycc@emji.net.


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.



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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

Corinne Houpt Receives The 2016 Ormsbee Robinson Award

corinne-houpt-ormsbee-robinson-awardOrmsbee Robinson was the organizer of the first United Way campaign in Fearrington, which helped to solidify United Way’s presence in Chatham County. As a founder, he helped lead the group that built a vision for this United Way, developed the bylaws and created the operating standards. Ormsbee exemplified selfless giving and committed service to Chatham County through the United Way.

The Ormsbee Robinson award is given by the United Way Board of Directors every year to those who have demonstrated Ormsbee’s legacy of strong leadership and  long-standing commitment to the United Way and its mission.

The Board of Directors is proud to announce that this year’s recipient is Corinne Houpt.

After retirement, Corinne became active in the community, especially with the United Way.  She has been on the United Way Board of Directors for a number of years, has chaired the board for the past three years and served on               allocation panels and board committees.

Corinne has also chaired the annual fundraising campaign at Governors Club for the past seven years, which has increased each year to record levels. In fact, since she became the Governors Club campaign chair in 2008, the amount raised has increased by 48%. With the help of a team of dedicated neighborhood campaign captains as well as the continued generosity of Governors Club residents, Corinne led the campaign to unprecedented levels. Last year’s campaign played a monumental role in the success of the countywide campaign. Please join us in thanking Corinne Houpt for all that she’s done for United Way and for Chatham County.

Posted in Events

Back to School

United Way was honored to attend the Chatham County School System’s annual convocation. United Way representatives joined the administration, School Board and County Commissioners in welcoming back faculty and staff for a productive 2016/2017 school year filled with growth and achievement.

Dina and Dr. Jordan

Chatham County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Derrick Jordan and United Way Executive Director Dina Reynolds pose on the red carpet before the convocation.

Shawn McClarnon at School Convocation 2016

United Way Board of Directors Vice Chair Shawn McClarnon kicked off the United Way campaign for Chatham County Schools faculty and staff.

School Convocation Crowd 2016

Chatham County Schools Convocation 2016

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Working Together For A Brighter Day

United Way hosted a Back-To-School pizza party for the participants of Communities in Schools at the Chatham Community Library on Wednesday, August 17.  Each child received a backpack filled with the required materials specified by the supply list from their school and grade.  The staff of David Weekley Homes conducted a month-long supply drive for employees, customers and Briar Chapel residents to collect the backpacks and supplies.  They also donated custom-made pencil boxes which contained colored pencils, a pencil sharpener and a ruler.  In addition, students received new toothbrushes, which were donated by N. Rouse Wilson, DDS.  Everyone was treated to a pizza supper, which was well-received by all.  Over 60 backpacks were distributed.  The children were very appreciative of their news tools and all pledged to put forth their best effort for a successful school year of achievement and growth.


Kayana loved the David Weekley Homes pencil boxes.


Ana is exited to start Pre-K this year!


Sam enjoyed discovering his new third grade supplies!

Dolce and Bro

Dulce and her brother were thrilled with their new backpacks!

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