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Issue Based Grant Update

In 2021, UWCC selected four nonprofit programs to receive funding from our first ever Issue-Based Grant. A total of $87,500 is supporting programs making an impact on homelessness and COVID-19 learning loss among K-12 students.

Three agencies were awarded the special funding: Communities In Schools, The Boys & Girls Club of Central Carolina and Chatham County NC Homeless Shelters – Love Chatham. Here’s a snapshot on the progress of the programs.

Communities in Schools - 40 High School Students Served

A portion of the United Way funding allowed the formation of an after school coding club within the High School Success Coach program. Five students met twice a week and CIS solicited donations of laptops and projectors. The coding group has ended for 2021, but will resume in 2022 allowing for 10 students to join the second round. 

“The students didn’t want to leave when their parents came to pick them up,” Wes Lail said, one of the High School Success coaches at Jordan Matthews. 

A former teacher himself, Lail says the High School Success Coach program allows CIS to fill gaps and provide resources to students that teachers don’t have the resources or capacity to do. 

Bella, who is struggling in math, met with a math tutor earlier in her session, and went over history vocabulary with Lail afterward. She said COVID-19 has greatly affected her focus. 

“When school was online I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “And in school they move too fast. I was the only one in math class asking so many questions.”

Bella says because of CIS tutoring programs she feels caught up in class, and the tutors make her feel more confident. 

“Communities in Schools is awesome,” she said. 

Chatham NC Homeless Shelters

Chatham County NC Homeless Shelters was awarded funding to increase the resources available to Chatham’s homeless population through its Love Chatham program, including the hiring of Program Director Dakota Philbrick. 

As of December 4, Love Chatham has moved five families out of hotels into permanent housing, sheltered 1,030 individuals (445 families) in local hotels,  and served 1,306 individuals (415 families) with food from their food pantry. Within the next month they will have two rooms at Freedom Family Church in Siler City available for families in need, as well as a portable shower for those staying at the church, and the homeless in Chatham County. 

Philbrick says housing in hotels or at the church is a temporary solution, with a shelter being their ultimate goal, while also working to fill the gaps, brick by brick. 

“Love Chatham is more about wanting to break the cycle and meet other needs that our clients have and identify the barriers that our clients experience as a result of what they’re going through,” said Philbrick. “We have to meet other needs for them, not just the shelter.”

Boys & Girls Club of Central Carolina - Serving 90 Children Daily

The Boys & Girls Club was awarded Issue-Based Grant funding to support education across the county. Funds were awarded for their Bridge the Gap Program at the Wren Family Center in Siler City and to support the opening of their Pittsboro Club this fall. The Bridge the Gap program at the Wren Family Center in Siler City mitigates learning loss due to COVID-19 with hands-on, project-based programs, with 60-65 children each day. 

United Way’s investment in the Pittsboro Club is supporting the Power Hour Program for the club’s first year. Power Hour helps students ages 6-18 achieve academic success by providing homework support, tutoring and technology engaged activities. The Pittsboro Club is currently serving 30-35 children each day. 

Progress Updates from the Boys & Girls Club Tutoring Efforts

English/Language Arts Grade Improvements:

  • 86% of members who had a D or F on their 2021 spring report cards have improved by one or more letter grade.

Math Grade Improvements:

  • 60% of members who had a D or F on their 2021 spring report cards have improved by one or more letter grade.

CLICK HERE to learn more about our 2021 Issue Based Grant. 

Ormsbee & Hospital Event 2021

United Way’s Ormsbee Robinson Award Honors Chatham Hospital Employees

 The United Way of Chatham County awarded Chatham Hospital employees with the 2021 Ormsbee Robinson Award – the highest honor given by United Way – on Thursday, September 30, during an employee appreciation event at Chatham Hospital. The event also kicked off Chatham Hospital’s annual  United Way employee giving campaign.

The Ormsbee Robinson Award honors people who reflect selfless giving and committed service to Chatham County. United Way Board Chair Dr. Jim Sink, who is also a retired surgeon, presented the award.

“From my experience, I understand the physical and mental exhaustion that comes from taking care of sick patients and their anxious families. And I understand the selflessness of those who risk their health and the health of their families to take care of patients with communicable diseases,” Sink said. “There are many noble professions, teachers and clergy come to mind. But, I think those who choose to work in a hospital are right at the top of the list. You come to work each day to help us when we need you.”

Jeff Strickler, CEO of Chatham Hospital, accepted the award.

“We are honored to receive the Ormsbee Robinson award,” Strickler said. “This recognition comes to our staff during a challenging time in healthcare and represents an acknowledgement of their efforts to care for our community. This acknowledgement will make their burden feel a bit lighter.

“Also, thanks so much to United Way of Chatham County for this award but more importantly their continued partnership with Chatham Hospital to meet the needs of our community.”

The Ormsbee Robinson Award includes a $1,000 grant from United Way of Chatham County to the hospital’s agency of choice. Hospital employees who attended the event voted on the agency they believed most deserving of the $1,000 grant, with the Chatham County Council on Aging receiving the $1,000 grant.

Employees were also treated to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, from Ice Cream Catering (ICC) Primo Partners LLC, an Independent Franchisee of Ben & Jerry’s.

“The employees of Chatham Hospital have supported United Way and the greater community for many years through an annual giving campaign,” said Katie Childs, Executive Director of United Way of Chatham County. But during this past year, they enhanced that support by not only being steadfast financial supporters of our work, but by risking their lives to care for the most vulnerable in our community.”

2021 Day of Service Post Event Press Release

 

United Way of Chatham County’s Day of Service A Huge Success

165 volunteers gathered across the county to give back to community

The United Way of Chatham County hosted the second-ever Day of Service Wednesday, September 15. The event officially kicked off the annual fall fundraising season and connected 165 volunteers to community service opportunities in Chatham County.

The Day of Service supported 11 in-person volunteer opportunities, and two donation drop-off sites.

“Thank you to everyone who made the Day of Service a success this year!,” said Katie Childs, United Way of Chatham County Executive Director. “This year’s event saw more projects, 50% more volunteers than last year, and deeper financial support from wonderful sponsors. Members of this community are continually pouring themselves into Chatham making it such a special place to live and work. It is such a gift to see it all unfold.”

Community service projects for the day included: Boys & Girls Club Wren Family Center –facility beautification and playground updates; Chatham CARES Pharmacy, Smith and Buckner Funeral Home and Siler City Police Department – food drive to benefit West Chatham Food Pantry and drug take back event; Chatham Education Foundation – book sort and distribution; CORA Food Pantry – raised bed planting, fruit tree planting and landscaping; Chatham Habitat for Humanity – community build; Salvation Army and Galloway Ridge – Angel Tree preparation; Primrose School of Chapel Hill at Briar Chapel and Communities in Schools – school supply drive for students of Chatham County Schools; Love Chatham – weekly food distribution preparation and clothing closet organization; Carolina Meadows and United Way – fall campaign mailing preparation; Chatham School of Science and Engineering and United Way – assembly of hygiene kits and fall campaign mailing preparation; and Chatham 4-H will hold a Saturday project with its student members building garden beds at Union Taylors Community Action Center.

United Way also held an online fundraiser during the Day of Service, encouraging those unable to attend to make a donation with a goal of $1,500. If you’d like to help United Way reach the Day of Service goal, make a donation at www.UnitedWayOfChathamCounty.org/DayOfService.

“It seemed as though this year’s underlying lesson was evolution. And what an important lesson to learn and apply right now,” said Childs. “There were some things we knew would evolve in our second year of this event, like the addition of the digital fundraiser to officially mark the beginning of our fall campaign. However, there was so much that was still changing right up until the day of the event. I am so grateful to our partners and volunteers for being flexible and gracious as we all continue trying to navigate life during a pandemic.”

United Way of Chatham County thanks its Day of Service sponsors – without their support this event would not have been possible: Carolina Civilworks, Inc, Axis Utility Inc., Sanctuary at Powell Place Apartment Homes, Triangle Community Foundation, Realty World Carolina Properties – Eric Andrews, and Marley’s Hair Design. The Day of Service media sponsor was Chatham News + Record. A special thank you to North Carolina Ice Cream Catering – Ben & Jerry’s for providing the students and staff at Chatham School of Science and Engineering with ice cream after their entire school participated in the Day of Service.

With a 50% increase in volunteers over last year’s Day of Service, United Way sends many thanks to the following volunteer teams: Triangle Community Foundation; Duke Energy; NC DPS; Diprofio Homes; Edward Jones – Office of Eric Williams; Chatham County Sheriff’s Office; Siler City Police Department; Chatham School of Science and Engineering; Sanctuary at Powell Place Apartment Homes; Chatham County Government; Carolina Meadows and Galloway Ridge.

To view photos from the Day of Service, follow United Way of Chatham County on Facebook: www.facebook.com/UnitedWayofChatham. You can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter to keep up with what we’re doing in the community: www.UnitedWayOfChathamCounty.org/newsletter.

2021 Harris Teeter Round Up Campaign

Harris Teeter launches campaign to support United Way and The Salvation Army

Shoppers invited to round up transaction to nearest whole dollar

 

Now through November 2, Harris Teeter shoppers are invited to round up their transactions to the nearest whole dollar at checkout; 100 percent of funds raised will be distributed evenly between the United Way of Chatham County and Salvation Army Chatham County Service Unit.

“Harris Teeter is proud to continue its support of United Way and The Salvation Army,” said Danna Robinson, communication manager for Harris Teeter.  “COVID-19 continues to impact many programs which fund critical programs for nonprofits like The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle program. By offering a convenient way for our valued associates and loyal shoppers to give back, we can help ensure our communities continue to have access to the critical resources they need.”

Focusing on education, health, financial stability and basic needs, United Way works to create an environment of opportunity where thousands of families in our communities can have a chance for a better life.

“We are very grateful for the support that United Way receives from Harris Teeter,” said United Way of Chatham County Executive Director, Katie Childs. “The United Way serves one in three people in Chatham, and Harris Teeter employees and customers are strengthening our community by simply rounding up their check-out totals. When you round up, you are helping United Way give basic needs like housing, utility assistance, health care, childcare and many other services to those in need, and those who continue to struggle during the pandemic.”

The Salvation Army assists individuals and families-in-need by providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation services and clothing and shelter for those facing homelessness.

 

 

United Way Art Auction

Welcome to the

United Way Virtual Art Auction

September 1 - 17

Karen Meredith, a United Way donor and volunteer, is also an award-winning oil and watercolor artist and generously gifted 60 pieces of art to United Way of Chatham County for a virtual auction fundraiser! The collection features works by Meredith as well as her father, Maurice LaReau. You can read more about why Meredith decided to offer this gift to United Way by scrolling to the bottom of the page. 

IMPORTANT AUCTION INFORMATION:

The online art auction will be held Wednesday, September 1 through Friday, September 17. Items will go live September 1, and to place a bid or purchase are you must create a login account with the United Way auction website. There are a few ways to purchase the art:

  1. Items will be awarded to the highest bidders on the last day of the auction – Friday, September 17 – at 5 p.m.
    • If you are outbid on an item you will receive an email notification – be sure to check your spam folder.
  2. There is a “Buy Now” option – items can be purchased immediately if offered the value, which has been set by Karen Meredith. 

Art pickup information will be emailed to you at the close of the auction. You have the option to pick up from Meredith’s home Wednesday, September 22, or pick up at the United Way office in Pittsboro at a later date. 

100% of all proceeds will benefit United Way of Chatham County. If you are unable to participate in the art auction, or are bidding and would like to make an additional contribution to United Way, you can make a donation by CLICKING HERE

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Karen Meredith

Maurice LaReau

Over the years Meredith’s art has been showcased in more than 50 invited solo and juried shows around the country.  Meredith is primarily self-taught, and has engaged in workshops with a large number of internationally-known artists.  

Meredith works mostly with oil and watercolor and draws inspiration from light and color: “It is their dynamic interplay that creates beauty and interest in my visual world,” said Meredith. “I find my favorite images outdoors, either in sunlit spaces or moody shadows. I approach each canvas as a new challenge to capture this fleeting experience.”

Click here to visit Meredith’s website.

LaReau was an accomplished artist, graduating from Rhode Island School of Design, and teaching at Brown University, Pomfret Art School, and the Ft Lauderdale Institute. LaReau spent summers in Provincetown studying with well-known artists, such as Hans Hoffman. 

Like Meredith, LaReau was also inspired by the outdoors and travels. He won numerous awards and held more than 10 exhibitions. He also served as the art critic for the Fort Lauderdale News/Sun-Sentinel for 12 years. 

Reasons to Donate to United Way

Written by Karen Meredith

I have decided to put these works up for sale with ALL proceeds going to United Way of Chatham County. My reason for selecting this agency is fivefold:

  1. I had the honor of serving on a grant review panel this spring and was extremely impressed with the professionalism of their process. I told them that it was as organized as any experience I had working for various Federal agencies.
  1. United Way of Chatham County funding serves one in three Chatham residents. The need is deep in our community, which may come as a surprise to many. With pockets of affluence in this county, it is easy to forget that there are also pockets of great poverty. In some western corners of Chatham County, the nearly 40% of families live below the federal poverty level. This means, 40% of four-person families right here in some portions of Chatham County earn less than $27,000 annually.
  1. I feel that their limited funds were being directed to the most important projects and capable programs. By using United Way as an oversight organization, they are acutely aware of the needs of County. They can ensure that there is limited overlap of efforts and maximum collaboration with other agencies in the area. They are able to “vet” these agencies before giving them money. They also expect measurable outcomes from grantees.
  1. United Way of Chatham County has a very capable but extremely small staff with minimum overhead costs. Its board has strong leadership with wide expertise.
  1. It has a track record of serving the neediest in that community. For 36 years the United Way in Chatham County has supported many local nonprofits delivering service to meet the most critical needs. This year their support of 23 programs will provide the following to our community: food, housing assistance, job and workplace skills training, support for sexual assault and domestic violence victims, increased access to health care resources, early childhood care and education opportunities. In total, United Way funded programs will impact 37,813 lives in the next twelve months.

Karen Meredith Art Auction Press Release

Online Art Auction to Benefit United Way of Chatham County

Local, award-winning artist Karen Meredith donates 60 pieces for auction

The United Way of Chatham County is hosting an online art auction September 1 through September 17, with all proceeds benefitting United Way. Karen Meredith, a celebrated artist, Chatham resident, and United Way volunteer and donor, has generously donated 60 pieces of artwork to United Way for the auction. Items will go to the person offering the highest bid or who first offers the suggested retail price. To view artwork, place bids and purchase, follow this link: www.UnitedWayOfChathamCounty.org/auction/.

Meredith volunteered with United Way of Chatham County during the allocations process in the spring to review and analyze the programs vying for United Way funding. Her experience as a program evaluator prompted her decision to offer this fundraising opportunity to United Way.

“I was extremely impressed with the professionalism of their process,” Meredith said of the United Way’s funding allocations process. “It was as organized as any experience I had working for various Federal agencies.

“Their limited funds are being directed to the most important projects and capable programs. By using United Way as an oversight organization, they are acutely aware of the needs of the county. They can ensure that there is limited overlap of efforts and maximum collaboration with other agencies in the area.”

Over the years Meredith’s art has been showcased in more than 50 invited solo and juried shows around the country.  Meredith is primarily self-taught, and works mostly with oil and watercolor. Paintings from her father, Maurice LaReau, will also be featured in the auction. LaReau was an accomplished artist, graduating from Rhode Island School of Design, and teaching at Brown University, Pomfret Art School, and the Ft Lauderdale Institute.

“I am thrilled to be able to support United Way of Chatham County in this manner,” said Meredith. “Creating art is a joy and privilege for me. It’s satisfying knowing that it also can benefit an organization that is so adept at serving such a large number of people with great needs.”

The United Way of Chatham County serves one in three Chatham residents. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the United Way’s annual impact fund, which currently funds 23 programs managed by 16 nonprofit agencies that specialize in the education, financial stability and health of Chatham County residents. For more information on the agencies and programs funded by United Way, volunteer opportunities, or to make a donation, visit www.UnitedWayOfChathamCounty.org.

Day of Service Commissioner Resolution

United Way of Chatham County’s Day of Service Recognized by Chatham County Commissioners

PITTSBORO, NC – The Chatham County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution Monday, August 16, recognizing Wednesday, September 15, 2021 as the official United Way of Chatham County Day of Service.

 The Day of Service is an all-day event that unites community leaders, businesses and volunteers to complete community service projects for nonprofits across Chatham County, and will serve as the official kick off to the 2021 United Way Annual Campaign.

“It is no secret that our community is still feeling the impacts of COVID-19,” said Alane Coore, Finance Officer for United Way of Chatham County. “One thing that every non-profit agency in Chatham County has experienced over the last year is a decrease in volunteer support. Our hope is that this event will encourage the connection between those who can help to those who need help.

“By supporting this event you are encouraging others to make a difference in their community and we can’t thank you enough.”

Once the resolution passed, Chatham County Commissioner Jim Crawford said supporting United Way of Chatham County is a “privilege,” and encouraged everyone in attendance to “just give five hours of your time to any United Way organization.”

“Lean in with your time and effort,” Crawford said.

To volunteer for a Day of Service project, or for more information, visit www.UnitedWayOfChathamCounty.org/DayofService/.

The Day of Service would not be possible without the generous support of our community. Thank you to our 2021 Day of Service Sponsors: Carolina Civilworks, Inc.; Axis Utility Inc.; Sanctuary Apartment Homes at Powell Place; Triangle Community Foundation; and Realty World Carolina Properties and Marley’s Hair Design. Many thanks to our media sponsor, Chatham News + Record.

United Way of Chatham County’s Day of Service To Kick Off 2021 Campaign

The United Way of Chatham County will kick off its annual campaign with the Day of Service Wednesday, September 15, 2021. The Day of Service is an all-day event that unites community leaders, businesses and volunteers to complete community service projects for nonprofits across Chatham County.

This year 8 local organizations submitted 9 community service projects: Boys & Girls Club Wren Family Center – outdoor enrichment and facility beautification and playground updates; Chatham CARES Pharmacy, Smith and Buckner Funeral Home and Siler City Police Department – food drive and drug take back event; Chatham Education Foundation – book sort and distribution; Chatham Trades – fence installation; CORA Food Pantry – grounds maintenance, repairs and landscaping; Chatham Habitat for Humanity – community build; Salvation Army – Angel Tree preparation; Primrose School of Chapel Hill at Briar Chapel – school supply drive for students of Chatham County Schools.

To volunteer for a Day of Service project, or for more information, visit www.UnitedWayOfChathamCounty.org/DayofService/.

The Day of Service would not be possible without the generous support of our community. Thank you to our 2021 Day of Service Sponsors: Carolina Civilworks, Inc.; Axis Utility Inc.; Sanctuary Apartment Homes at Powell Place; Triangle Community Foundation; and Realty World Carolina Properties. Many thanks to our media sponsor, Chatham News + Record.

United Way of Chatham County Announces 2021 Issue-Based Grant Funding Recipients

The United Way of Chatham County has selected four nonprofit programs to receive funding from their first ever Issue-Based Grant. A total of $87,500 will support programs making an impact on homelessness and COVID-19 learning loss among K-12 students.

In total, three agencies were awarded the special funding: Communities In Schools, The Boys and Girls Club and Chatham County NC Homeless Shelters.

Communities In Schools was granted funding to expand the role of the High School Success Coach at Jordan Matthews High School. The program offers integrated student supports to youth referred and enrolled in the program. Supports include tutoring and academic assistance, parent engagement, social emotional support, regular check-ins, basic needs, mental and physical health resources, and case management. United Way funding will provide tutoring and summer enrichment with assistance in math, science, and language arts to at least 40 students at Jordan Matthews High School.

The Boys and Girls Club was awarded Issue-Based Grant funding to support education across the county. Funds were awarded for their Bridge the Gap Program at the Wren Family Center in Siler City and to support the opening of their Pittsboro Club this fall. The Bridge the Gap program will serve students at the Wren Family Center in Siler City to mitigate learning loss due to COVID-19 with hands-on, project-based programs. United Way’s investment in the Pittsboro Club will support the Power Hour Program for the club’s first year. Power Hour helps students ages 6-18 achieve academic success by providing homework support, tutoring and technology engaged activities. In total, the United Way Issue-Based Grant funding will allow the Boys and Girls Club to enhance the education of up to 225 Chatham County School Students this year.

A new organization, Chatham County NC Homeless Shelters, was awarded funding to increase the resources available to Chatham’s homeless population through a program called Love Chatham. Chatham County NC Homeless Shelters is an organization that provides temporary shelter and emergency food to those in need in Chatham County. Now a certified 501(c)(3), the agency began serving the community in December 2020. The organization is a collaboration of efforts, led by dedicated community members, between Freedom Family Church of Siler City, Tyson’s Creek Baptist Church of Bear Creek, and First Wesleyan Church in Siler City. United Way funding will allow the organization to hire a part-time program manager to direct services, and purchase supplies to open temporary shelters within partner churches. The Love Chatham program will shelter 1,200 individuals this year and offer crisis food to 1,000 Chatham County residents. Ultimately, the goal of Chatham County NC Homeless Shelters is to open a permanent homeless shelter in Chatham County.

“Increasing the financial and human resources available for providing human care services to county residents is The United Way- it is our mission and the reason we exist.” said Katie Childs, Executive Director of the United Way of Chatham County. “We have a responsibility to be agile and get creative in order to direct resources to the most critical needs in Chatham County. This is how we will continue moving the needle for change.”

CORA Goes Mobile

Mobile Markets become a lifeline to parts of the Chatham community

Marina Garcia Garillo, of Siler City, is disabled, lives alone, and each month when she receives her disability check, she says it’s never enough. She doesn’t remember the last time she had a hamburger – her favorite food – and when she’s craving one she’ll drive somewhere where she can smell them cooking.

Marina has been a client of CORA’s food pantry for 6 years, and recently, the Mobile Market. She enjoys the variety of foods available, and the accessibility and ease of the Mobile Market. And occasionally, when luck is on her side, ground beef will be available through CORA and she’ll cook a burger at home.

CORA is one of United Way of Chatham County’s highest funded agencies. United Way funding will provide 16,500 individuals and 1,250 children with food this year. Whether it’s through the pantry in Pittsboro, or through their Mobile Market, United Way helps ensure food is available to those in need in our community.

The Mobile Market is a fairly new avenue CORA is using to reach people who live in food deserts, or in the western part of Chatham County and are unable to drive to the pantry in Pittsboro. It began in October 2019 in the parking lot of Chatham Hospital, set up like a farmer’s market. Once the pandemic began, the market was halted in March 2020. COVID-19 presented a number of problems for CORA, with the first main obstacle being the food supply chain.

“It was broken,” said Melissa Driver Beard, CORA’s Executive Director. “The week I realized COVID was getting real, we placed an order (for food). Right on the heels of that order, we placed a second order.”

Driver Beard said food orders were typically supposed to be received within 10 days of order. The March order she received in April, and the April order she received in July. Grocery stores were ordering up all of the food and not much was available. CORA was able to purchase some food the schools would have normally used, and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC was able to increase the amount of food they gave to CORA. The rest of what they needed they received from the community.

“We had amazing community support,” she said. “We were drowning in produce from local farmers – it was a great problem to have. Had it not been for food donations last March through July, I’m not certain we would have been able to serve everyone in need. The supply chain was horribly broken during that time period.”

Monetary donations during the pandemic also flew in for CORA, including $3,000 from the United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund that served 600 people.

The Mobile Market started up again one month later in April (2020) on Technology Way in Siler City. The market now operates as a drive-thru.

In May of 2020 CORA’s Mobile Market served 170 families in two hours. In May of 2021 CORA’s market served 114 families – 70 of those families were served in 40 minutes. Six CORA staff and 5-10 community volunteers keep it running smoothly each month. And recently CORA has tested its Mobile Market in other areas, proving to be the biggest success in The Nature Trail community north of Pittsboro, where it will now remain a permanent location for the market.

“At our first Mobile Market at Nature Trail we nearly ran out of food,” said Rebecca Hankins, Development and Communications Director of CORA. “Over the past two months we have served 850 individuals and believe we are having the greatest impact at this location. We are not done growing the program yet – CORA is also looking at additional strategic points around the county where food insecurity is high.”

“When transportation is your block (from food), going to people is super important,” said Kristine Ashwood, Operations Director for CORA. “Mobile Markets have become a really significant part of where we are heading.”

While the Mobile Market is expanding, so are CORA’s services in Pittsboro. A new building will soon house all of CORA’s food, including walk-in and wall freezers and coolers. CORA’s clients will be able to shop in the new building, with roomy grocery store aisles – which is much different than the multiple roomed food labyrinth that currently exists in CORA’s current building. A renovation to a back portion of CORA’s current building will include a reception and waiting area for its clients, and also a children’s play and enrichment area.

The United Way’s 2020 Day of Service provided a new sidewalk outside the main entrance to CORA, and a proposed 2021 Day of Service project will fill holes in the asphalt outside the building, which will be much safer for their clients, volunteers and staff.

Beard said CORA is entrenched in the Chatham community, and its success is a direct result of its supporters.

“Everybody sort of grasps hunger,” she said. “The volunteers here are phenomenal and so committed. I’ve never seen volunteers that are so dedicated – it kind of blows my mind.” She also credits CORA’s success to its Board of Directors, and the incredible staff.

For Marina Garcia Garillo and so many in Chatham County, CORA is a lifeline.

“Everything is so expensive, and it’s getting worse and worse,” Marina said. “CORA is a great help.”


The United Way of Chatham County’s 2021 Impact Fund supports 22 programs from 16 nonprofits in Chatham County. CORA will receive $40,000 from United Way this year, and an estimated 17,750 people will be served. To learn more about the United Way of Chatham County, please visit www.unitedwayofchathamcounty.org or call the office at 919-542-1110.

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