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.”

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. 


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


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.
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