Chatham County Outstanding Volunteers Awards Nomination Forms Now Available

Each year the United Way of Chatham County coordinates the Chatham County Outstanding Volunteer Awards to recognize those individuals who selflessly give their time, talent and expertise to benefit the residents of Chatham County.  Everyday in Chatham County hundreds of volunteers donate their time and talent through nonprofit organizations, churches and schools.

“The amount of hours served by volunteers of United Way and its member agencies totaled an astonishing 85,908  last year,” said Alane Coore, United Way Volunteer Center Coordinator.  “This results in over 1.9 million dollars saved in salaries.  It is important to recognize volunteers for their efforts because they help nonprofit agencies to provide a level of service that they otherwise may not be able to provide.”

The United Way Volunteer Center is currently distributing the Outstanding Volunteer nomination forms to recognize Chatham County volunteers for their volunteer service.  Individuals may be nominated for volunteer service in the following categories: Arts/Culture, Education/ Literacy, Environment, Health, Public Safety, Social Services and Special Events. Click here to download a nomination form.

Nomination forms must be returned to the United Way of Chatham County Volunteer Center by 5:00pm on Friday, December 1, 2017.  Forms may be dropped off at the United Way office at 72 Hillsboro Street, Suite 202 in Pittsboro; mailed to PO Box 1066, Pittsboro, NC, 27312; emailed to or faxed to (919) 542-0991.

Chatham County community members make up the local advisory committee that will review the nomination forms, select honorees and plan local recognition activities.  All nominees selected by the advisory committee will be recognized at the 2018 Chatham County Outstanding Volunteer Awards reception.  The event will be held on Sunday, May 6, 2018.

The local advisory committee will also select Chatham County nominees to be considered for recognition on the state level.  The United Way of Chatham County Volunteer Center coordinates this effort with the NC Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.   Those selected will receive recognition from the Governor, in addition to being considered for the Governor’s Medallion Award.  The Governor’s Office honors only twenty volunteers with the Medallion Award statewide and selects from nominees submitted by 100 counties.  A minimum of one year of volunteer service is required to be eligible to receive the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.

For more information about the Volunteer Recognition Program, please contact United Way Volunteer Center Coordinator Alane Coore by phone at: 542-1110 or by email at:

Posted in Communities, Events

2017 United Way Member Agency Meeting

United Way of Chatham County hosted its annual member agency meeting on Wednesday, October 4 at the new Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center. Agencies received information regarding upcoming events, reporting procedures and local grant opportunities. Chatham County Budget Analyst Lisa West provided an update on the impending changes to the county’s nonprofit funding process and outlined a timeline for agencies. NC 2-1-1 Statewide Strategy Director Heather Black introduced NC 2-1-1, a new information and referral source for Chatham County residents. She also shared how United Way funded agencies can help increase access to resources in our community through this new platform. Chatham County Emergency Management Coordinator Alan Byrd spoke about the vital role nonprofit organizations play in disaster response. The meeting also included a networking session so agencies could discuss potential collaborative projects and ways to address the changing needs of our growing community.

United Way Staff welcome member agencies and guest speakers to the 2017 Member Agency Meeting.

2017 United Way member agencies are welcomed to the annual business meeting.

Chatham County Budget Analyst Lisa West talks about the current nonprofit funding process for the county.

NC 2-1-1 Statewide Strategy Director Heather Black introduced NC 2-1-1 as a new community resource.

Chatham County Emergency Management Coordinator Alan Byrd highlighting the importance of “whole community preparedness.”

Posted in Agencies, Events

David Poe Receives United Way of Chatham County’s Highest Honor at 2017 Kick-Off Event

David Poe was named the 2017 Ormsbee Robinson Award Recipient. His wife, Patty, was in the audience as he accepted the award.

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 an individual who has 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 mDavid Poe.  He has played an integral role in the Chatham community for many years. His service to United Way began in 2004 when he joined the Board of Directors. In 2007, he served as Board Chair until 2009.

In his longest-running and most recent role as Treasurer on the United Way Board, he is credited with shaping the financial stability of the organization. From 2011 until 2016, David’s contributions and financial expertise allowed United Way to expand staff, increase the amount of funds allocated to member agencies by almost 10% and invest more than $12,000 in additional funds for special grants and workshops for Chatham’s human service nonprofits.

Poe is a role model through his dedication to volunteerism and civic engagement.  His service to groups like the Chamber of Commerce, Chatham Hospital, Meals on Wheels and the Siler City STEP Program makes David an asset to our community and a valued friend of United Way.


Posted in Events

2017 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 6.  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 Debra Morgan 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 Vanessa Jenkins 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 18 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, Laurels of Chatham, 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 twelve years.  Indira Everett of Duke Energy was recognized for outstanding commitment and dedication to United Way of Chatham County with the “Extra Effort Award.” Chatham Hospital and Chatham County Schools received the “Greatest Employee Spirit” Award.  3M was recognized for having the largest campaign, while Duke Energy and Nationwide Insurance had the largest campaign increase.

United Way is the advocate and the benefactor to 20 outstanding human service agencies.  They are:  4-H, Boys & Girls Club, Chatham Cares Pharmacy, Chatham Housing Initiative, Council on Aging, Literacy Council, Communities In Schools, Partnership for Children, Chatham Soccer League, Chatham Trades, Chatham Transit, CORA Food Pantry, El Futuro, Girl Scouts, Legal Aid, Reach Out and Read, Rebuilding Together of the Triangle, Salvation Army, The Learning Trail, and the West Chatham Food Pantry.

WRAL News Anchor Debra Morgan poses with United Way Staff.










Executive Vice President of Preston Development Company Vanessa Jenkins outlines the progress and plans of Chatham Park.

President of Chatham Economic Development Corporation Kyle Touchstone speaks of growth and development in Chatham County.

Posted in Campaign, Events

2017 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 2017/2018 school year filled with growth and achievement.

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

Chatham County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Derrick Jordan shares his encouragement for a successful 2017/2018 school year.












Chatham County Schools Convocation 2017

Staff from Virginia Cross Elementary School celebrate the beginning of another year!

Posted in Events

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).


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Posted in Grants, Organization

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