United Way Day of Service a Win for the Community

The United Way of Chatham County hosted the first ever Day of Service last Thursday, September 3. The event officially kicked off the annual fall fundraising season and connected more than 100 volunteers to opportunities to serve in Chatham County.

The day played host to nine in-person volunteer opportunities, three donation drop off sites and two virtual service opportunities that could be submitted on the United Way website. “Offering community service projects that covered a range of risk- from in person to completely virtual- gave residents the opportunity to participate in the way they felt most comfortable in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said United Way Interim Executive Director Katie Childs.

Community service projects for the day included: a donation drive for comfort items to be used by seniors at the Chatham Council on Aging; outdoor landscaping and improvement projects benefiting the Council on Aging, at both the Eastern and Western Senior Centers; a sidewalk improvement project at CORA Food Pantry; a school supply donation site at Chatham Trades, benefiting clients at Communities In Schools, Salvation Army and the Chatham Education Foundation; a housing construction project hosted by Chatham Habitat for Humanity; outdoor improvement projects at the Boys and Girls Club Wren Family Center; a photography project hosted by United Way; and a food drive hosted by Pugh Funeral Home and Chatham CARES Pharmacy, benefiting the West Chatham Food Pantry.

The Day of Service was sponsored by Carolina Civilworks, the Chatham News + Record, Realty World Carolina Properties and Triangle Community Foundation. Matt Green, Manager at Carolina Civilworks, said, “Community involvement is important to us because many of our workers live in Chatham County. We live here, work here and trying to give back to the community is just an important aspect of who we are at Carolina Civilworks.” This was evident in the fact that employees of Carolina Civilworks fully staffed the sidewalk rebuild project at CORA Food Pantry, providing a new, safe sidewalk to access the pantry from the parking lot.

“I want to give a special thank you to everyone who made this day a success. Thank you to the partners who hosted projects. Thank you to the volunteer teams from the community, Duke Energy, Carolina Civilworks, Chatham Hospital, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office and Chatham County Government who did backbreaking work in the Carolina dog days of summer. Thank you to the event sponsors that helped publicize the event and fund projects and supplies necessary for the day. Thank you to everyone involved. Chatham County is a special place to live and work because of all of you,” said Childs. “We are excited that is wonderful event marks the beginning of our Fall fundraising campaign. I am hopeful it is an omen of all the good that is to come for Chatham County and its residents.”

United Way Seeking Volunteers for September 3 Day of Service

Volunteers with signs spelling out Live United.
United Way of Chatham County announced the first United Way Day of Service that will take place on Thursday, September 3, 2020. The Day of Service is a free community service event that pairs volunteers with projects for local non-profits to make an impact where it’s needed most in Chatham County. There are multiple volunteer project sites around the county, and even remote and contactless donation drives for everyone to get involved.

The United Way Day of Service will allow community members to make a tangible impact in Chatham County by sharing their time, talent and resources. There are several diverse volunteer opportunities including: event photography, indoor and outdoor revitalization projects at non-profit agencies, assembly of athletic equipment for children, home construction, a food drive, a school supply drive, and a drive for comfort items to benefit Chatham County’s home-bound seniors. You can even submit cards of appreciation to Chatham County School Teachers and Chatham’s Healthcare workers without leaving your home.

Due to COVID-19, United Way has reimagined the annual kick-off event to their fall fundraising campaign. “The Coronavirus has affected Chatham County in many ways. Knowing there are so many opportunities to make a direct impact on those who have been most affected by this virus was the reason we shifted the focus of our annual campaign kick-off event,” said United Way Interim Executive Director Katie Childs. “Connecting United Way supporters with hands on volunteer projects and supply drives to support people all over our community is our way of showing that social distance does not equal social disengagement,” Childs said.

To view a list of community service projects and donation drives, please visit WWW.UnitedWayofChathamCounty.org/Day-of-Service and sign up before Tuesday, September 1. This event is generously sponsored by Realty World Carolina Properties and The Chatham News + Record.

Call for Phase 37 Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) and 2020 CARES Act Applications

Click Here to Download the Application

The Salvation Army Chatham County Service Unit is pleased to accept applications for Emergency Food and Shelter Program Phase 37 and the CARES grant funds. Applications are due via email or postal mail by
5:00 PM on Thursday, June 18, 2020. Applications received after the due date/time will not be considered.

Brief History:
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program was established on March 24, 1983, with the signing of the “Jobs Stimulus Bill,” Public Law 98-8. That legislation created a National Board, chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that consisted of representatives of the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, The Jewish Federations of North America, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, The Salvation Army and United Way Worldwide.

The EFSP was authorized under the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (P.L. 100-77 signed into law on July 24, 1987, since renamed the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and subsequently reauthorized under P.L. 100-628, signed into law on November 7, 1988). Since 1983, in its 29-year history, the EFSP will have distributed $3.8 billion to over 14,000 human service agencies in more than 2,500 communities across the country through this collaborative effort between the private and public sectors.

Under the guidance of the National Board and direct supervision of the Local Board, The Salvation Army serves as administrator for our jurisdiction. These funds are awarded only in Chatham County.

Grant Eligibility and Restrictions:
Local agencies chosen to receive funds must be able to adhere to the following:
1) Be private voluntary non-profits or units of government
2) Not be barred or suspended from receiving Federal funding
3) Have a checking account (cash payments are not allowed)
4) Have an accounting system or fiscal agent approved by local board
5) *Have a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
6) *Have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number
7) Conduct and provide a copy of an independent annual review if receiving $50,000 -$99,000 /or an independent annual audit if receiving $100,000 or more in EFSP funds, and follows OMB’s Uniformed Guidance if receiving $750,000 or more in Federal funding.
8) Be providing services and resources in Chatham County in which they are seeking funds
9) Practice non-discrimination
10) Have a voluntary board if private, not-for-profit
11) To the extent practicable, involve homeless individuals and families
12) Have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs
13) Have ability to fulfill all reporting requirements as requested

Local Volunteers To Be Recognized by County & State

Twelve Chatham County volunteers have been selected to receive recognition for their outstanding community service:  Pam Barker, Chatham PTA Thrift Store, Jaime Detzi, Rene Higginbotham, Jazmin Mendoza-Sosa, Lindsay Shore-Wright, Ed & Becky Spence, Cliff Stickney, Burney Waring, Elizabeth Zeringue and Jack ZollingerThey were also selected to receive the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award certificate from the NC Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.

On April 20, 2020 the Chatham County Board of Commissioners signed a resolution honoring the volunteers for their remarkable sustained commitment of time, talent and good will for the betterment of Chatham County.

Chatham residents donated 81,179 hours of volunteer service to United Way and its member agencies last year.  According to the Independent Sector, the most current hourly value of volunteer time is $25.43 per hour.  This means that local volunteers donated work hours valued at more than 2.6 million dollars.  “This community activism allows Chatham human service nonprofits to provide a level of service they could not otherwise afford,” commented United Way Board Chair Jim Sink.

“Volunteerism is an important part of the proud history of community service in Chatham County,” said United Way Volunteer Center Coordinator Alane Coore. “It is our honor to recognize our neighbors who truly make a difference in the lives of others.”

Since 1998, United Way has coordinated the Chatham County Outstanding Volunteer Awards to recognize individuals who selflessly give their time, talent and expertise to benefit the residents of our community.  Chatham County community members make up the local Volunteer Nomination Review Committee that reviews the nomination forms, selects the honorees and plans local recognition activities.  The committee also selects Chatham County’s 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.

For more information about volunteering in Chatham County, please contact Alane Coore, United Way Volunteer Center Coordinator at 542-1110 or visit the United Way of Chatham County website at www.unitedwayofchathamcounty.org.

United Way of Chatham County Joins #GivingTuesdayNow in Global Day of Giving and Unity

United Way of Chatham County is supporting residents impacted by the Coronavirus by establishing the Chatham County COVID-19 Response Fund. To date, the fund has supported $27,000 in grants that provide emergency food, rental assistance, prescription assistance, childcare services and mental health services.

United Way of Chatham County is now also joining the #GivingTuesdayNow movement to unite with organizations around the globe to support those impacted by the Coronavirus. #GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity, set to take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. Modeled after Giving Tuesday, which usually takes place in December, the day is designed to drive an influx of generosity, citizen engagement, and support for communities and nonprofits around the world.

“People can show their generosity in a variety of ways during #GivingTuesdayNow. Whether it’s checking in on a neighbor, showing gratitude to local essential services workers or donating to United Way, every act of generosity counts. This global movement will emphasize opportunities to give back to communities and organizations in safe ways that allow for social connection, even while practicing physical distancing,” said United Way of Chatham County Executive Director Dina Reynolds.

Those interested in joining United Way of Chatham County’s #GivingTuesdayNow efforts can visit UnitedWayofChathamCounty.org to make a donation to the Chatham County COVID-19 Response Fund. You can also post to Facebook and Twitter using #GivingTuesdayNow to show how you are spreading generosity through Chatham County.

For more details about the Giving Tuesday movement, visit the Giving Tuesday website (www.givingtuesday.org). For youth interested in joining the movement, visit GivingTuesdayKids.org for inspiration and project ideas.

NCDHHS to Provide Additional Food Benefits for More than 800,000 Children Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Governor Roy Cooper announced on Monday that North Carolina has been approved for the new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program, to help families purchase food for children impacted by school closings due to COVID-19. NCDHHS is working to operationalize the program and families will begin to receive this benefit in coming weeks.

“So many families are in need, especially with so many out of work right now. This approval helps people get assistance faster to feed their families,” said Governor Cooper.

The program provides a benefit on an EBT card to North Carolina families whose children are eligible for free and reduced lunch at school. Families will receive $250 in P-EBT benefits per child, provided in two installments, with the possibility of an additional benefit if North Carolina schools are closed beyond May 15. Families will be able to use the P-EBT benefit to purchase food items at EBT authorized retailers, including most major grocery stores.

Families will not need to apply for the P-EBT program. P-EBT eligible families already receiving Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits will receive an additional benefit on their existing EBT card. P-EBT eligible families not already enrolled in FNS will be mailed a new EBT card in the next few weeks. Families who receive a new EBT card will receive a letter from DHHS in the mail explaining how to activate and use their card.

“As our schools closed, many families across the state worried about where their next meals would come from—and we knew we had to take action,” said NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “The P-EBT program will provide extra help buying groceries for the families of the more than 800,000 children who normally receive free and reduced lunch at school.”

North Carolina is one of the first four states to receive federal approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide P-EBT benefits, which are entirely federally funded.

The new P-EBT program is in addition to other services families may be participating in. As announced previously on March 30, 2020, all families that receive Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) will receive the maximum amount allowed for March and April 2020 for their household size. Families are encouraged to continue utilizing feeding programs at local school and community meal sites for free, nutritious meals for children.

Governor Cooper Announces Texting Tool to Access Food for Children

Free or reduced price eligible families can text FOODNC to 877-877 to find nearby meal sites.

Governor Roy Cooper announced today that parents who need food assistance for their children can text FOODNC to 877-877 to locate nearby free meal sites. The texting service is also available in Spanish by texting COMIDA to 877-877.

After entering their address, parents will receive a text with the location and serving times for nearby pick-up and drive-thru free meal sites while schools are closed. Sites have been set up across the state for families with children ages 18 and younger, including preschool children, who rely on free and reduced-price meals at school.

“School closings mean no meals for some of our most vulnerable children. Now families have an easier way to find food during these times of financial stress,” Governor Cooper said.

Parents can also call 2-1-1 to speak with an operator who will help them locate meal sites in their community. The 2-1-1 service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Services are provided in English, Spanish and many other languages.

Additionally, No Kid Hungry has created a map of local school sites, community organizations and food assistance programs across North Carolina where families can access food. The interactive map can be viewed at nokidhungrync.org/covid19/ and is updated daily.

The Governor’s North Carolina COVID-19 Education and Nutrition Working Group, co-chaired by the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), worked in partnership with state and community organizations such as No Kid Hungry to set up the texting program.

School sites and community organizations providing food are experiencing a high demand for services and rely on dedicated volunteers to provide meals. NCDHHS and NCDPI ask that people who are not at high-risk for severe illness associated with COVID-19 sign up to volunteer to prepare meals. Those interested in volunteering should call their local school district office, community organization or visit volunteernc.org.

For more information and additional guidance on regulations and recommendations related to the health threat from COVID-19, please visit the NCDHHS website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus and CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

NC 2-1-1 to Provide Assistance for COVID-19

Governor Roy Cooper has announced that 2-1-1 is the number to call for assistance and resources related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.  NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service, operated by United Way of North Carolina, where families and individuals can obtain free and confidential information on health and human service resources within their community 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Resources are available in most languages.

Locally, United Way of Chatham County and the Chatham County Health Department are proud to provide funding and support to bring 2-1-1 to all residents.  “NC 2-1-1 is an important resource every day for families in our community who may experience a crisis such as food insecurity or unemployment.  During times like this with the COVID 19 crisis, the needs of all North Carolinians will increase and I am proud 2-1-1 will be here to help,” said Executive Director Dina Reynolds.

“Services like NC 2-1-1 are critical during times of emergency,” said Governor Cooper. “We need to make sure North Carolinians have access to the resources they need while we continue to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

North Carolinians can text COVIDNC to 898211 to receive general information and updates about COVID-19. Sign up now to get regular alerts on the rapidly evolving situation and North Carolina’s response.  Individuals who have specific needs related to food, shelter, energy assistance, housing, parenting resources, health care, substance abuse treatment, as well as specific resources for older adults and for persons with disabilities should dial 2-1-1 or TTY 888-892-1162 for assistance.  Due to expected high call volume, those wanting to stay updated on general developments with North Carolina’s response to the coronavirus crisis should sign up for 211’s text alerts by texting COVIDNC to 898211.

NC 2-1-1 cannot provide direct medical services, and COVID-19 can only be diagnosed by a health care professional.  If you suspect you or someone you care for may have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus, you should contact your health care provider. If you do not have a provider, you can call your local health department or a Federally Qualified Health Clinic for guidance.

To learn more about NC 2-1-1, visit nc211.org. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in North Carolina, go to ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.

United Way 2020/2021 Funding Application Workshop

United Way of Chatham County will host a funding application workshop on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. It will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. in Hall C of the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center in Pittsboro. All nonprofits providing human services to Chatham residents are invited to attend.

The workshop will cover the components of the application process, timeline, funding application and the criteria that will be used to evaluate proposals. Attendance is required to be eligible to apply for funding.

Agency representatives are asked to sign up for the workshop no later than Monday, January 13, 2020 by phone at (919) 542-1110 or email at Dina@UnitedWayofChathamCounty.org. Emailed RSVP’s must include the name and title of the agency representative who will attend, along with their email address and phone number.

The United Way Board of Directors has worked for the last several years to restructure its grant process. Based on the results of the Chatham County Community Assessment conducted by the Chatham Health Alliance, the new funding process will emphasize performance and outcomes in UWCC’s three priority areas of Financial Stability, Education and Health. Applicants will be asked to describe how their programs will assist United Way in achieving its goals and objectives to maximize the impact on Chatham’s most critical needs.

A complete list of eligibility requirements is available on the United Way of Chatham County website at www.UnitedWayofChathamCounty.org by selecting “Funding Process” at the top right of the homepage. The online application will be accessible beginning Wednesday, January 15, 2020. Applications must be submitted by Friday, February 28, 2020. Contact the United Way office with any questions.

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