National 2-1-1 Day

February 11 is National 2-1-1 Day!  United Way of Chatham County is proud to join United Ways across North Carolina and the nation in celebrating the free, confidential information and referral system that connects callers and web visitors to health and human services 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year. 2-1-1 helps people find resources for service needs such as food, housing, assistance with utilities, job training, information about health care providers, and more. NC 2-1-1, the North Carolina 2-1-1 system, is also a part of the State Emergency Response Team. When activated during a disaster, NC 2-1-1 becomes the public information portal for disaster related information.

Residents who are looking for help, can simply dial 2-1-1 to reach a live, trained NC 2-1-1 call specialist who can connect them to local assistance. Calls to NC 2-1-1 are free and confidential, and information can be provided in most languages. NC 2-1-1’s database of more than 19,000 resources is also accessible via for anyone wishing to self-search for organizations and programs to meet their needs.

“When you dial 2-1-1 you are connected to the best information on resources right here in Chatham County,” said United Way of Chatham County Executive Director Dina Reynolds. “Last year hundreds of callers from our community turned to NC 2-1-1 for help finding assistance. We are proud to be a part of this statewide and national system that brings such a valuable service to our community.”

NC 2-1-1 is available in all 100 North Carolina counties. In 2017, NC 2-1-1 call specialists helped more than 114,000 callers find services for more than 126,000 needs statewide. Additionally, nearly 125,000 searches for programs and resources were conducted through the web-based search tool.

Posted in Agencies, Communities, Organization

United Way & County Host Nonprofit Funding Application Workshop

Nonprofits interested in applying for a grant from Chatham County or the United Way of Chatham County should attend a workshop slated for Tuesday, January 15, 2019, from 10 AM to 12 PM.  The workshop will cover the funding application and the 2019-20 allocations process.

Chatham County and United Way strongly recommend all human service nonprofits planning to submit a request for funding attend this workshop, which will be held at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center in Pittsboro.

To ensure that there are enough handouts and instructional materials for everyone, attendees are asked to sign up for the workshop no later than Friday, January 11, 2019 by emailing the United Way office at

Chatham County will provide the details of their new nonprofit RFP process at the workshop.  Other workshop topics include components of the application process, criteria used to evaluate proposals and the online application.

The application form will be accessible beginning Tuesday, January 15, 2019.  Applications must be submitted online by Thursday, February 28, 2019.  Contact the United Way office with any questions at 919-542-1110 or

Posted in Events

Dial 2-1-1 for Shelter Information, Food Assistance and Hurricane Florence Recovery Help

In times of need, United Way of Chatham County is there to help.  One of the key benefits of being part of a statewide network is our ability to mobilize quickly and effectively to assist communities impacted by Hurricane Florence.

2-1-1, a free and confidential non-emergency service, provides assistance invaluable service in times of crisis. It offers community access to critical resources and information to help reduce harmful effects of the disaster.

During Hurricane Matthew in 2016, thousands of people called 2-1-1 and that same level of response is expected with Hurricane Florence. Finding temporary shelter, food, water, health resources and a variety of other needs are met through 2-1-1.

United Way’s staff is embedded in the Emergency Operations Center and can update 2-1-1 resources in real-time as well as share caller needs with EOC staff.  Call data is displayed through an online dashboard and can help inform where needs exist sometimes before they are reported.

2-1-1 offers texting capability that connects the caller to Ready NC resources, Red Cross Shelter information and more.  Callers may text Florence to 898211. They will be asked to identify the state and county in which services are needed and will receive quick connection to services offered.

Upon activation by Governor Cooper, NC 2-1-1 becomes the official portal for disaster and emergency related information for North Carolina citizens during times of disaster.  For more information, please visit

Posted in Events

United Way Kicks Off the 2018 Campaign!

 As Master of Ceremonies, WRAL News Anchor Gerald Owens set the stage for a fun event filled with community spirit and determination for another successful United Way campaign!

WRAL News Anchor Gerald Owens entertained the crowd Master of Ceremonies at United Way’s Campaign Kick-Off luncheon on Wednesday, September 5.  Held in the clubhouse ballroom at Governors Club, the event hosted over 150 people.

The event featured three guest speakers.  Chatham Health Department Director Layton Long  shared preliminary results of the 2018 Community Assessment. NC 2-1-1 Statewide Strategy Director Heather Black introduced Chatham County’s new information & referral resource and presented Chatham needs data from the last year.


Former Chatham County Commissioner Betty Wilson gave special presentation to kick-off the 2018 Campaign.  Dressed as Wonder Woman, she described how we all have the power to make a difference in our community, especially when we work together.  United Way’s campaign theme is United We Fight, United We Win! Wilson pumped up the crowd and had everyone chanting “Yes we can!” by the end of the event.

 United Way Board Member and Former Chatham County Commissioner Betty Wilson energized and motivated United Way supporters.

United Way member agencies were on hand with tabletop displays to meet with guests and answer questions.  They also distributed marketing items and information regarding the programs supported by United Way campaign contributions.  Musical entertainment was provided by Sue Wilson and Betsy Kraus on the hammered dulcimer and concertina respectively.  Event sponsors included:  Briar Chapel by Newland Communities, Duke Energy, Governors Club, Laurels of Chatham 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 any other residential community.  Carolina Meadows saw the highest percentage of participation of all of the residential campaigns and have held this distinction for many years.  The Fearrington campaign had the second highest percentage of participation.  The campaign at Briar Chapel 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 thirteen years.  Chatham County Employees received recognition for having 50% participation in their campaign.  Nancy Burgess of Chatham County DSS was recognized for outstanding commitment and dedication to United Way of Chatham County with the “Extra Effort Award.” Chatham County Schools received the “Greatest Employee Spirit” Award.  Duke Energy was recognized for having the largest business campaign, while Chatham Hospital had the largest campaign increase.

United Way is a proud advocate and benefactor to 18 outstanding human service agencies.  They are:  4-H, Boys & Girls Club, Chatham Cares Pharmacy, Council on Aging, Literacy Council, Communities In Schools, Partnership for Children, Chatham Trades, CORA Food Pantry, El Futuro, Girl Scouts, Legal Aid, Reach Out and Read, Rebuilding Together of the Triangle, Salvation Army, Sprott Youth Center, The Learning Trail, and the West Chatham Food Pantry.

Posted in Events

Joan Zollinger Receives United Way of Chatham County’s Highest Honor at 2018 Kick-Off Event

Joan Zollinger was named the 2018 Ormsbee Robinson Award Recipient.

Ormsbee 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 United Way.

The Ormsbee Robinson Award, established in his memory in 1996, 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 honoree is Joan Zollinger.  Joan has been an active community member and United Way supporter for almost 20 years.  In 2013, she started the Galloway Ridge resale store, which netted $12,000 the first year of operation.  Proceeds support the Galloway Ridge Benevolent Care Fund and the Employee Emergency Relief Fund.  To date, the Turnaround Shop has provided a total of $61,000 to these two funds.

Joan was also instrumental in establishing the Galloway Ridge Employee Scholarship Fund.  This year, $52,000 was awarded.   Joan helped to start the summer camp program at Galloway Ridge for Boys & Girls Club participants.  The program offered young people summer activities that they may not  have had access to otherwise.  Joan is also an active volunteer at her church, where she serves as an ordained Deacon.

Joan is a role model through her dedication to volunteerism and civic engagement.  Joan’s service to Chatham makes her an asset to our community and a valued friend of United Way.


Posted in Events

2018 Chatham County School System Convocation

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 2018/2019 school year filled with growth and achievement.

Staff from Bennett School celebrate the beginning of another year!

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

Chatham County Schools Convocation 2018

Posted in Events

Build a Backpack School Supply Drive A Success!

Due to the tremendous response from local businesses, churches and community members, this year’s Build a Backpack school supply drive was a huge success.  The drive, which was coordinated by the United Way of Chatham County, collected backpacks, notebooks, binders, paper, pencils, crayons and other supplies.

“The response from the community has been truly overwhelming,” commented Dina Reynolds, Executive Director of the United Way of Chatham County.  “We received almost 300 backpacks this year and 100 of them were laptop backpacks.  This is especially important because Chatham County is one of the few North Carolina counties that issues laptop computers to all high school students.”

The supplies will be distributed by the Chatham County Schools’ Basic Needs Program.  Those in need of school supplies should contact their child’s school guidance counselor.  The counselor 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.

“We are very appreciative of the community’s consideration of our students,” said Tracy Fowler, Executive Director of Student Services and Support Programs for Chatham County Schools.  “Because of their concern and participation, our children in need will go to school better equipped to succeed.”

Area businesses and churches that collected school supplies for the Build a Backpack school supply drive include:  Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church, Chapel Ridge, Eastern Chatham Senior Center, Governors Club, Pittsboro Presbyterian Church, Realty World Carolina Properties, Virginia Cross Elementary School and the Western Chatham Senior Center.

United Way staff members Alane Coore and Katie Childs prepare donated school supplies for distribution to the school system, as a result of the generous response to United Way’s back-to-school supply drive by Chatham County residents.

Posted in Events

WRAL News Anchor Gerald Owens to Emcee the United Way Campaign Kick-Off

Join the United Way of Chatham County for an afternoon of celebration at the 2018 Campaign Kick-Off and Annual Meeting.  It will be held in the clubhouse ballroom of Governors Club on Wednesday, September 5 from 11:30 am – 2:00 pm.

WRAL News Anchor Gerald Owens will serve as the event emcee.  Chatham Health Department Director Layton Long will share results for the 2018 Community Assessment conducted by the Chatham Health Alliance.  NC 2-1-1 Statewide Strategy Director Heather Black will introduce Chatham’s new information & referral resource and discuss how it can assist those in need of community resources.

Lunch will be catered by Governors Club.  A member agency expo 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 benefactor of 18 human service agencies in Chatham County.  They are:  Boys & Girls Club, Chatham Cares Pharmacy, 4-H, Chatham Literacy Council, Chatham Trades, 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, Sprott Youth Center, 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, August 31.

Sponsors for the 2018 Campaign Kick-Off include: AT&T North Carolina, Briar Chapel by Newland Communities, Duke Energy, Governors Club, Laurels of Chatham, Nationwide Insurance, and Realty World Carolina Properties.

Posted in Agencies, Campaign, Communities, Events, Organization

United Way Begins “Build A Backpack” School Supply Drive!

United Way Staff organize donations from the “Build A Backpack” supply drive.

The United Way of Chatham County will hold its annual back-to-school supply drive from Monday, July 16 through Friday, August 3.

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.  The school system identifies students in need of basic school supplies and works with United Way to meet that need.

According to the Kids Count Data Center, 52% of Chatham County school children receive free or reduced cost lunch, and the percentages in some schools are much higher.  In addition, almost 17% of Chatham’s school children are living in poverty.

“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, large 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, 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, 27312.  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 Agencies, Campaign, Communities, Events, Organization

United Way Celebrates Community at Agency Fair!

United Way and fifteen of its member agencies celebrated community last night at their Agency Fair with face painting, fun and Dolly Parton! The event took place at The Veranda at Briar Chapel from 4-6 p.m. and included a clown, live music and information about how to get involved with some of Chatham’s non-profit organizations. Agency representatives helped enroll children in programs like Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, distributed information about volunteer opportunities and even shared success stories from their clients. Thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy the fun.

Posted in Events

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