NC Governor’s Volunteer Awards

Do you know an exceptional individual whose volunteer contributions deserve recognition?  Consider honoring their work by nominating them for the Chatham County Outstanding Volunteer Award.  The United Way of Chatham County coordinates the nomination and award process to recognize those individuals who selflessly give their time, talent and expertise to benefit the residents of Chatham County. 

Chatham County nominees will also 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.

Click the link below to review eligibility criteria and to complete the fillable PDF nomination form. All completed forms should be emailed to Shelley Smith at Shelley@UnitedWayofChathamCounty.org no later than Tuesday, December 31.

2022 Day of Service

2022 Day of Service a Huge Success

The United Way of Chatham County (UWCC) hosted its third-annual Day of Service Tuesday, September 13. The event officially kicked off the annual fall fundraising season and connected 80 volunteers to community service opportunities in Chatham County. The Day of Service supported 9 in-person volunteer opportunities.

Community service projects for the day included: Boys & Girls Club Wren Family Center –facility beautification, computer installation, cleaning and organizing equipment and supply closets; Chatham Education Foundation – book sort and distribution; Chatham Habitat for Humanity – community build; Love Chatham – landscaping around the building; Carolina Meadows and United Way – fall campaign mailing preparation; North Chatham Elementary School PTA – school and community garden maintenance; and a dodgeball game at the Pittsboro Boys & Girls Club and Wren Family Center hosted at Horton Middle School.

Two projects are scheduled for a future date: door installation at Second Bloom to better serve clients, and the staining of a community garden fence at Chatham Trades. Carolina Meadows also hosted a pre-Day of Service project in August, packing bookbags for the Salvation Army’s school supply distribution event.

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

“Thank you to everyone who made the Day of Service a success this year!” said Katie Childs, UWCC Executive Director. “The Day of Service allows for teamwork amongst colleagues and clubs, networking with strangers, and learning about the unique and vital nonprofits that support the residents of Chatham.”

United Way of Chatham County thanks its 2022 Day of Service sponsors – without their support this event would not have been possible: Carolina Civilworks, Inc, WellCare, Triangle Community Foundation, and Realty World Carolina Properties – Eric Andrews. 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 of the Pittsboro Boys & Girls Club and Wren Family Center a sweet treat to enjoy during the dodgeball games.

United Way sends many thanks to the following volunteer teams: Triangle Community Foundation; Duke Energy; Rotary Club of Pittsboro; Briar Chapel Jewish Community Book Club; NC DPS; Chatham Council on Aging; Cackalacky; Chatham County Sheriff’s Office; Fearrington Village Garden Club; UWCC Board of Directors; and Carolina Meadows.

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 the monthly newsletter to keep up with what United Way is doing in the community: www.UnitedWayOfChathamCounty.org/newsletter.

The United Way of Chatham County is the largest human services funder in Chatham County. UWCC funds 22 programs managed by its 15 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.

Save the Date!

Help kick off the 2022 UWCC Campaign at the Day of Service

Save the date for the largest community service event and volunteer day in Chatham County! The 2022 United Way Day of Service will once again kick off UWCC’s annual campaign, and will be held Tuesday, September 13. Join us and help celebrate our incredible Chatham community!

Last year’s Day of Service hosted 165 volunteers completing community service projects at 11 locations across Chatham County, and because of our sponsors and volunteer support, it was our best year, yet. We expect this year’s Day of Service to be even better.

If you are a nonprofit or organization wishing to submit a Day of Service project proposal, please click here for the online form.

If you are interested in being a sponsor, please contact Shelley Smith at shelley@UnitedWayOfChathamCounty.org. Click here to view sponsorship benefits.

Volunteer information and sign ups will be open to the public by early August.

To view photos from the 2021 Day of Service, click here

Three Chatham Residential Campaigns Win State-Wide United Way Awards

United Way of Chatham County’s (UWCC) 2021/2022 campaign generated the most dollars and donors in its 36-year history in Chatham County, with 84% of donations coming from residential campaigns. Three of UWCC’s residential campaigns – Governors Club, Carolina Meadows and Encore at Briar Chapel – proved to be exceptional and record-breaking, each earning the Spirit of North Carolina Award from the United Way of North Carolina.

The Spirit of North Carolina Award is a state-wide award and recognizes campaign excellence, honoring groups and organizations whose United Way campaigns exemplify the “spirit” of their community. The three UWCC campaigns were awarded in the “Campaign/Engagement Success” award category, which celebrates a campaign’s growth in participation or dollars raised to build stronger loyalty to meeting the community need.

Spirit of North Carolina Award recipients meet specific standards of achievement and are selected by a team of United Way leaders from across the state. United Way of North Carolina leads the award nomination and judging process and presents the awards annually.

“The Governors Club, Carolina Meadows and Encore at Briar Chapel campaigns not only demonstrate excellence in their United Way campaigns, but are building a philanthropic culture community-wide,” said Katie Childs, UWCC Executive Director. “The ongoing and increasing support from all neighborhoods, donors and community partners in Chatham is outstanding.”

Because of the 2021/2022 UWCC residential campaign success, Childs was invited to co-facilitate a workshop at the United Way Southeast Regional Conference, which will host 50 United Way representatives from an 11-state radius late April. The workshop will highlight best-in-class practices that UWCC has learned from its community campaigns. In all, the conference will host more than 300 United Way representatives from the southeast region.

“I’m honored to represent Chatham County at the conference, sharing what makes our United Way campaign so unique and successful,” said Childs. “Each year United Way board and staff lay the campaign’s foundation. But the leadership, drive and passion from our neighborhood captains, support from community management, and buy-in from individuals and families, is what enables United Way to increase its impact on poverty year after year.”


Governors Club

UWCC’s 2021 Governors Club residential campaign made United Way history in North Carolina: the neighborhood raised $273,000 – the largest amount ever raised by a residential campaign in North Carolina. It was also the largest amount raised in Governors Club’s 20+ year history with UWCC. Governors Club utilizes a network of 27 area captains to champion the effort within their own streets/areas.


Carolina Meadows

UWCC’s 2021 Carolina Meadows residential campaign raised the most in its 20+ year history with United Way: the campaign brought in $101,269, exceeding its campaign goal by 19%, and raising $15,000 more in 2021 over 2020.

The Carolina Meadows residential campaign is led by United Way of Chatham County Board Treasurer George Evans, who is also an active and well-connected resident of Carolina Meadows.

Due to COVID-19, Carolina Meadows imposed visitor restrictions to ensure the safety of its residents. Evans saw this as an opportunity to remind residents of the importance of the United Way mission and organized a volunteer opportunity that could be completed without residents leaving the premises, and was part of UWCC’s 2021 Day of Service.


Encore at Briar Chapel

UWCC’s residential campaign reached a new neighborhood in 2021 – Encore at Briar Chapel – a new community for those aged 55 and above within the largest residential neighborhood in Chatham. One loyal United Way supporter and a new resident to Encore – John Hughes – helped coordinate a group of 16 neighborhood captains to spread the mission and impact United Way has in Chatham County. Encore captains also held socially distanced cookie exchanges, cocktail parties and door-to-door introductions to not only get to know their new neighbors, but to share the importance of supporting UWCC.

Because of the dedication of the Encore neighborhood captains, 66% of the Encore neighborhood donated to the campaign, with United Way gaining more than 100 new donors.

Each fall, UWCC kicks-off its annual campaign, which includes more than 15 residential campaigns and countless volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering in your neighborhood, please contact Katie Childs at 919-542-1110 or katie@UnitedWayOfChathamCounty.org. Visit www.UnitedWayOfChathamCounty.org to learn more about our impact.


Additional Photos from Encore at Briar Chapel’s award presentation reception.

More Than Ever Before: United Way of Chatham County Surpasses 2021/2022 Campaign Fundraising Goal

The United Way of Chatham County’s (UWCC) 2021/2022 annual campaign generated $704,000 – the most in its 36-year history, surpassing its goal of $645,000. Eighty-four percent of the campaign support came from Chatham residential areas, which is unique to United Ways across the state. In fact, the 2021 neighborhood campaigns are among the highest grossing residential campaigns of all time in North Carolina. Chatham businesses also showed their support, sponsoring the Day of Service, becoming United Way Corporate Donors, and by joining the $100 by 100 campaign challenge. UWCC also welcomed more individual donors, and more volunteers than ever before.


“I am so proud of our community and its commitment to improving the lives for all in Chatham,” said Katie Childs, United Way of Chatham County Executive Director. “Residents of all ages and stages of life see the United Way’s impact, and throughout the pandemic the support has been unwavering.”

Although the campaign has ended, UWCC is still hard at work. More than 50 volunteers are currently reviewing funding requests and meeting with agencies through the annual allocations process. UWCC staff and board are also in the midst of strategic planning, which will become a three-year roadmap to help navigate the ever-changing needs of Chatham County.

For more information about UWCC, or to get involved, please visit www.UnitedWayOfChathamCounty.org or call 919-542-1110. For community resources or assistance, please dial 2-1-1.

Carolina Meadows Residential Campaign Wins State-Wide United Way Award

If you live or work at Carolina Meadows, you probably know George Evans – he may have even given you your first tour of the campus. George is also the Treasurer for United Way of Chatham County, and runs the United Way residential campaign at Carolina Meadows. And the 2021 Carolina Meadows campaign was record-breaking. Carolina Meadows raised the most in its 20-year history with United Way of Chatham County – $103,821 – exceeding its goal by 20%, and raising $17,000 more in 2021 over 2020.

Due to COVID-19, Carolina Meadows imposed visitor restrictions to ensure the safety of its residents. Evans saw this as an opportunity to remind residents of the importance of the United Way mission and organized a volunteer opportunity for the 2021 Day of Service that could be completed without residents even leaving the premises.

The campaign achievement and community engagement were recognized by the United Way of North Carolina, and Carolina Meadows received the Spirit of North Carolina Award for its exceptional campaign and commitment to United Way of Chatham County.

The Carolina Meadows community continues to support the mission and understand the impact their donations are making in the Chatham community. Thank you, George, and thank you to everyone at Carolina Meadows!




211 Continues to be Essential Service for Chatham Residents

Day and night, the team at NC 211 talks to people who are experiencing hardship, feeling concerned about a family member, or simply need more information about resources in their area. As North Carolinians continue to feel the impacts of the pandemic, NC 211 serves as a consistent resource offering hope, comfort, and guidance. On February 11, United Way of Chatham County joined NC 211 in celebrating National 211 Day.

In 2021, NC 211 answered more than 160,000 calls, offering information about housing, utility assistance, healthcare, and more. These calls were answered by real people who are trained to identify and address root causes of a client’s problem. In Chatham, 53% of calls were for housing and shelter assistance, 20% were for utility assistance, and the remaining 27% of calls were related to COVID-19, employment or income assistance.  

NC 211 is funded locally through a partnership with United Way of Chatham County and the Chatham County Health Department. Chatham County Public Health Director, Mike Zelek, said he’s proud to partner with UWCC and co-sponsor this service for Chatham County residents.

“NC 211 is a valuable resource to our community, and to our public and nonprofit agencies that serve Chatham County,” said Zelek. “Providing information about health care resources, and services that address social determinants of health, helps us ensure better outcomes for those living in Chatham.”

With COVID-19 still circulating around the globe, NC 211 continues to be an increasing necessity as providers shift service hours and availability, with some adjusting hours or closing indefinitely.

“NC 211 has helped the community remain connected,” said Katie Childs, Executive Director of the United Way of Chatham County. “And now as we think about navigating life post-pandemic, we hope more individuals continue to use the tool as a direct connection to the services they need, and providers use it as a means to communicate program logistics and availability to clients.

“We are grateful for donors and corporate partners like Chatham County who help sustain NC 211 service in our community.”

NC 211 is also available online – visit nc211.org to search NC 211’s database of nearly 13,000 verified resources. After entering a search term and location, the website will display information about local programs and services. 


NC 211 is an information and referral service provided by United Way of North Carolina and supported by local United Ways across the state. Accessible via an easy-to-remember, three-digit number, families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services within their community.

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.”

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