Sept. 24, 2018

Cynthia Lingerfelt and her ECCCM case worker Lucy Thacker have become close friends as Lingerfelt used the agencies 

resources to get back on her feet financially. John Bailey/CCUW

 

ECCCM client ready to “pay it forward”


JOHN BAILEY

jbailey@ccunitedway.com


Through the month of September, The Hickory Daily Record's Notable Neighbor feature shined a spotlight on the importance of giving back to your community through organizations like the Catawba County United Way and its funded partners. This week the focus is on 

an Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry client.

Cynthia Lingerfelt, 61, admits she’s a “prideful person” so it wasn’t easy for her to ask for help when she found herself struggling financially after her mother died two years ago.

It was the case worker she met at Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry, Lucy Thacker, who reminded her there’s always hope.

“Miss Lucy was so sweet to me,” Lingerfelt said. “She made me feel so good about myself and encouraged me in so many ways.”

The Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry (ECCCM), a funded partner of the Catawba County United Way, serves all the eastern part of the county. It provides emergency financial assistance for mortgage and rent payments, assistance with utility bills, fuel oil and kerosene purchases, emergency food and clothing and life-necessary pharmaceuticals, according to ECCCM’s website, ecccm.org.

Lingerfelt took advantage of many of these resources.

Twelve years ago, she put her life on hold to take care of her mother, who had gotten sick and needed the help. They managed their household off her mother’s social security benefits.

When Lingerfelt’s mother died, she had to go back to work and the cost of the bills: rent, utilities and food, quickly began stacking. She worked every minute she could, but it was only for minimum wage and even picking up some odd jobs on the side, it was never enough.

Things began getting bleak when a friend of hers suggested she reach out to ECCCM.

“They feed me. The food program was really important,” Lingerfelt said. “I was at the point where I just had barely enough money to make the bills and not always. Sometimes I had to put one back to try and pay another.”

There were times after she paid all the bills, rent and put gas in the car the “cupboards were empty.”

Thacker said ECCCM’s food pantry helps supplement food stamps.

“For those who aren’t on food stamps we have a different program for them where they can come more often for food,” Thacker said.

ECCCM lets its clients know about job fairs in the county and works with local staffing agencies.

“We have someone who talks about health insurance too, in the financial classes we offer. It’s a wealth of information we go over,” Thacker said.

With her caseworker’s guidance, Lingerfelt eventually got hired on fulltime at Shurtape and has been there for a year.

“Life has turned around for me and am just so proud and happy, but I don’t think I could have made it without the help I got here,” she said. “All my family had passed on and I didn’t have anybody to turn to but (ECCCM) is my family now.”

It’s not enough to just get their clients back on their feet though.

Thacker said another one of the goals she sets with her clients is to give them the tools they need so they don’t have to seek out assistance in the future.

Lingerfelt was especially glad for the financial counseling and classes where she learned how to make and stick to a budget and how to create savings. It came down to having a “game plan” for life.

“Putting back a little nest egg in case something happens is very important and unfortunately my mother had gotten so sick, so fast and I had to come out of work to take care of her, so I didn’t have that then,” Lingerfelt said.

She’s been equally inspired from all the help she’s gotten to “pay it forward.”

Lingerfelt has even gone on United Way speaking engagements to talk to employees at local companies, sharing her story and explaining how ECCCM helped her.

Before her troubles, agencies like ECCCM wasn’t something she gave much thought, but she understands the importance of them now.

“There’s so many people out there who really do need help and who are really trying and struggling and they’re not aware of this,” Lingerfelt said. “I feel like part of my responsibility now is to let others know that this is here and there are things you can be taught to help you manage your money and get you on your feet and get you on the right track.”

For more information about the services at ECCCM visit ecccm.org or call 828-465-1702. For more information about other Catawba County United Way funded partners and their services visit ccunitedway.com or call 828-327-6851.


 

Sept. 17, 2018

Checking out some the United Way shirts, Eddie Hoover recalls the different programs he’s been involved with like 
The Salvation Army’s Boys and Girls Club and the Community Ridge Day Care Center. John Bailey/CCUW


Eddie Hoover, driven to connect with his community


BY JOHN BAILEY

jbailey@ccunitedway.com 


There are a lot of ways to make a difference in your community from tutoring at an elementary school, delivering for Meals on Wheels or giving a monetary donation.

Through the month of September, The Hickory Daily Record’s Notable Neighbor feature will shine a spotlight on the importance of volunteerism and giving back through the Catawba County United Way (CCUW).

This week’s CCUW volunteer is Eddie Hoover.

The combination of nature and nurture helped develop Eddie Hoover’s belief that everyone should lead by example when it comes to making a difference in your community.

The drive to be connected to his community started with what his mother taught him.

It was reinforced by the world outside his front door.

“I came from one of the poorest points in the city (Hickory), a little community called ‘Little Berlin,’” Hoover said. “There were bootleggers back in the early days and then drugs, you name it.”

The neighborhood is gone now after a cable company bought up the property to put up towers but growing up there showed him all the reasons why it’s important to be an active voice in your world.

Not long after he graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne University in 1997, Hoover’s former employer Bert Brinkley at Plastic Packaging, now Sonoco, encouraged him to go even further by getting involved with the United Way.

It was at this point when he saw the value of pooling local resources to deal with local problems.

“As a matter of fact there were some people, a brother and sister, in my neighborhood who were struggling with finances,” Hoover said. “They were very poor, and I went to our company and asked Bert what we could do for them and he said get the United Way involved.”

Through its funded partners, CCUW helped the family get better housing and clothing.

“I could look at their house some days and I could see light coming through the walls of their house,” Hoover said. “It was a blessing to make their world a better place.”

Since then, he donated 13 years of his life being actively involved with the Catawba County United Way, including being the campaign leader for his company.

Hoover rolled up his sleeves and volunteered with several programs directly including The Salvation Army’s Boys and Girls Club in Hickory and the Community Ridge Day Care center.

The day care was especially meaningful for him because it’s where he attended elementary school.

Another agency he enjoyed working with was Rising Hope Farms, which helps children with disabilities improve their lives physically and emotional.

“After seeing what those young children had to go through and seeing what United Way was giving back to them, it meant a whole lot that I got involved,” Hoover said. “I realized this could be someone’s grandchild, or they could be my child.”

The combination of all those experiences convinced him people need to be more, do more, if they want to think of themselves as a community.

“We got to dive in with all the people and all the resources we can to help our neighbors better themselves,” Hoover said.

He’s even explored other opportunities to help through the years by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and mentoring teens through sports programs.

“Up until nine years ago, I always had a travel basketball team or football team and you wouldn’t believe all the kids who didn’t have anywhere to go once they left practice. I would have to take them home,” Hoover said.

“It’s very important we stay involved with our community so we can keep our community growing. If we’re not impacting our community, it’s going to die.”

Some fun facts about Eddie Hoover

1-What is your funniest moment as a volunteer? 

One year we had a United Way kick off at Plastic Packaging Inc. and all the mangers had to get in a dunking booth.

2-What is your favorite inspirational quote?

“From which much is given much is required.”

3-Who inspires you? 

My Mother, Clovine Hoover.

4-What’s your favorite hobby?

Cutting grass



 


Sept. 10, 2018



Glenn Barger takes a look at this year’s collection of school supplies donated by local businesses during the Catawba 

County United Way’s annual Stuff the Bus campaign John Bailey/CCUW



Glenn Barger, inspired to make a difference through United Way

 

BY JOHN BAILEY

jbailey@ccunitedway.com

 

There are a lot of ways to make a difference in your community from tutoring at an elementary school, delivering for Meals on Wheels or giving a monetary donation.

Through the month of September, The Hickory Daily Record’s Notable Neighbor feature will shine a spotlight on the importance of volunteerism and giving back to your community through the Catawba County United Way (CCUW).

This week’s CCUW volunteer is Glenn E. Barger.

For Barger, doing more for his community through The United Way, “just seemed to be the right thing to do.”

He originally got involved in 1966 with the Eastern Catawba County United Way prior to the merger of it with The Greater Hickory United Way.

Barger has filled several rolls since then, including as a donor, community volunteer and a committee member. He even served a term as president of the Catawba County United Way board.

While Barger has years of experience as a former educator, administrator and a Catawba County Schools superintendent, his work with CCUW drilled home for him the importance of connecting the dots between needs and resources in the community.

“As an educator I saw first hand the many challenges many of my students experienced that hindered them from reaching their dreams in life,” Barger said. “Then, I saw first hand, that many of the agencies supported by United Way helped students, their parents and the public receive those needed resources and support to overcome many obstacles which hindered them in reaching their dreams and improving their lives.”

He’s seen the faces of children receiving a present at Christmas and seen medical issues being resolved.

“But the most memorable (moment) comes from a person in one of the agencies supported by United Way,” Barger said. “He was trying to reestablish his life from a substance abuse issue which had cost him his career and family.

“Through the help of many, he overcame his issues, was gainfully employed, served on several county boards and started a very effective outreach program for youth.”

More about Glenn Barger:

Why helping in your community is important?

“We have a great community to live, work and raise a family. That is not to say that we do not have our share of issues which threaten our community,” Barger said. “We must work together as a community to resolve these issues. If we are to continue to grow and be prosperous as a community we must work to strengthen our defenses against drug abuse, homelessness, illness and other social issues.”

What is your funniest moment as a volunteer?

This moment occurred when he was serving as a volunteer at a local soup kitchen. One of the guests approached me and asked, “Do you remember me?”

He didn’t, but she was a former student of his 25 years earlier.

“The lady was there with her granddaughter to have a meal. I remembered her as being a popular student with many friends,” Barger said. “She shared with me some of her hard luck during recent years and said, ‘you are only one paycheck away from being self-sufficient to being homeless.’”

She then said, “I can’t believe my former high school principal is here serving me lunch. You were old 25 years ago and you are still able to get around”

Who inspires you?

“We all have our own personal Board of Directors who helps us be who we are. That Board changes as we go through life,” Barger said. “Many times, these individuals may not be aware that they inspire you. I will list some of those who have influenced me the most:

“My parents - I was fortunate to have parents that taught me the value of honesty, dependability and respect. They modeled these traits for me and my sister as we grew up.

“Teachers - They not only influenced my dreams but help me to determine my life ‘s career of becoming a teacher

“My wife – For the past 53 years she has been my rock. She has supported me in my career and my life. She has kept me grounded and encourages me to keep on going with the reminder that it is not over.”

For more information about the Catawba County United Way, visit ccunitedway.com or the Catawba County United Way Facebook page or call 828-327-6851.





Sept. 6, 2018



Employees from the Publix in Hickory pitched in and helping to sort the mounds of school supplies collected for 

the annual Stuff the Bus campaign. The company brought in dozens more boxes from its own collection effort as well

John Bailey/CCUW



Catawba County United Way stuffs the bus with school supplies

 

BY JOHN BAILEY

jbailey@ccunitedway.com

 

Who doesn’t remember the smell of crayons, the feel of a brand new three-ring binder in your hands or the weight of a brand-new book bag over your shoulder?

With more than 4,000 individual items, the Catawba County United Way, in partnership with nearly a dozen local businesses, made sure students in all three of the county’s school districts (Hickory, Newton-Conover, Catawba Co.) had the tools they needed to be academically successful.

This year’s “Stuff the Bus” school supply drive brought in more than two dozen separate school related items, not including those related to personal hygiene.

“I have new students that come to school scared and overwhelmed by a new environment.  Lots of times they come empty handed.  Rene Huntsinger, counselor at Jenkins Elementary School in Hickory Public Schools said.

“When I bring them to my office and hand them a fresh set of school supplies or a backpack, it instantly makes them smile and feel welcomed at Jenkins.”

Being able to give school supplies to those students removes a barrier to learning and the financial burden for parents.

“Catawba County Schools greatly appreciates the community’s support in helping our students have a successful start to the school year,” CCS Director of Student Services Maria Ballard said. “Through the United Way’s Stuff the Bus campaign, many students receive school supplies that they would not have been able to access without the donations.” 

The local companies and organizations involved in collecting all those thousands of school supplies were equally excited about being part of Stuff the Bus this year.

For the employees of Alex Lee Inc., it was about imagining what it would be like to start the school year without those basic supplies.

“By sharing your dollars and fulfilling those needs, how much excitement could you instill in a child’s approach to a new school year?  The team at Alex Lee and MDI wanted to help get children excited about school,” according to a statement from Alex Lee Inc.

Other organizations who were collection sites for Stuff the Bus included: Century Furniture, CommScope, St. Aloysius Catholic Church, WestRock, ZF Lemforder, Publix, APICS, Catawba Valley Medical Center, MDI, Hickory Texas Roadhouse, Catawba County government, City of Newton and City of Claremont.

While school districts are several weeks into their new year, the Catawba County United Way will continue to gather school supplies to share in the upcoming months.

Most students have supplies at the beginning of the year, but the supplies are quickly used, Huntsinger said.

“Students from families on very tight incomes, or no income at all should not have to worry about how they are going to do their homework because they do not have pencils and paper,” she said. 

Call John Bailey at CCUW,828-327-6851, for more information about available school supplies.





Sept. 3, 2018

The 2018 Catawba County United Way Campaign Chair Keith Mackie reviews some of the donor packets sent out 

to local companies earlier this month. John Bailey/CCUW


Hickory Daily Record spotlights United Way with Notable Neighbors


BY JOHN BAILEY

jbailey@ccunitedway.com 


For Keith Mackie, giving back is just a way of life he believes we should all adopt.

The executive vice president for Catawba Valley Community College and this year’s campaign chair for the Catawba County United Way, first began donating to CCUW several years ago.

But it was when he was invited to join the United Way board, that Mackie was introduced to the full scope of what it means to be part of connecting the dots between needs and resources in a community.

“All of us have times in our lives when we need the care and support of others. The UW provides both at the times when the needs are the greatest,” Mackie said. “We are responsible for making our community a great place to live.

“Helping others builds their self-esteem, enhances productivity and builds a sense of being valued. Life improvements for our citizens enhance our community and life for all.”

 

For the rest of the HDR story follow the link at: The Hickory Daily Record



 

Aug. 23, 2018

Shantea Ramseur

Shantea Ramseur benefited from the after-school program at The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club in Hickory when she 

was a child. Now part of the staff, she’s looking forward to being the one providing the tutoring. JOHN BAILEY/CCUW

 

United Way makes improving literacy a priority


BY JOHN BAILEY

jbailey@ccunitedway.com

 

HICKORY – We’ve all heard the phrase, “reading is fundamental.”

Whether it’s downloading a recipe to cook a meal or searching for a YouTube video to teach you how to use your iPhone, functioning in today’s digital age is difficult if you can’t read.

For this reason, The United Way has focused on improving reading skills for students, pre-K through 12th grade, with various literacy programs.

Locally, the Catawba County United Way (CCUW) does its part with help from several of its funded partners.

The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club in Hickory offers tutoring help through its after-school and summer programs.

The Catawba County Partnership for Children operates the local Imagination Library which mails free age-appropriate books every month to any child from birth until age five.

The Patrick Beaver Learning Resources Center’s Hickory Augustine Literacy Project provides free, one-on-one instruction to children primarily in grades K-3 who are identified as economically disadvantaged and read at least one year below grade level.

“The United Way understands that without strong literacy skills, the potential for a student to fall behind and eventually drop out increases exponentially,” Newton-Conover City Schools Superintendent and CCUW board member Aron Gabriel said. “Relative to the mentoring programs that UW supports, countless children are provided with positive role models who help shape a positive self-awareness and appreciation for others.

“In the area of education, both literacy and mentoring support have always been favored by the UW board because of its value relative to future outcomes for each kid helped and society as a whole.” 

The superintendent used Newton-Conover City Schools own Kid Connection program and the Leader in Me Program as an example of his district focusing students on self-awareness, self-regulation and responsibility.

Shantea Ramseur works at The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club now but remembers the value of its after-school program. She attended it herself as a child, starting in the second grade.

Along with the one-on-one tutoring, the after-school program insured Ramseur and the other students had a regular time to study every day.

Ramseur admits she was “horrible” at math, but always enjoyed reading.

“We would have staff constantly come between us to make sure we were doing our work and make sure it was being done right,” she said.

In the end, the value of the program for her was having someone providing that little additional boost of encouragement when she was having a bad day. Ramseur is looking forward to being on the other side of the conversation and inspiring a new generation of students.

“Showing them they have the potential at excelling in math, reading or science really makes them want to continue to try to get better,” Ramseur said.

She went on to earn an associate degree and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Appalachian State University.

Visit ccunitedway.com for more information about these and other Catawba County United Way funded partners and their programs.

For more information about The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club in Hickory, visit salvationarmycarolinas.org/bgchickory/.

 

 

Aug. 16, 2018


Catawba County United Way campaign volunteers review the material they will be sharing with local organizations this month.  

JOHN BAILEY/CCUW


Catawba County United Way prepares for 2018-19 campaign


BY JOHN BAILEY

jbailey@ccunitedway.com


From youth mentoring programs, to crisis assistance counseling, to disaster relief services, the Catawba County United Way is ready to make a difference with its 2018-19 campaign.

The group’s board recently approved the allocation recommendations made by the volunteers on its community investment panels.

Catawba County United Way will use the donor dollars pledged during this year’s campaign to help support 21 programs ran by its 14 funded partners.

“Our work is focused on building better lives and a thriving community by increasing educational opportunities, fostering financial stability and independence and improving healthcare access and understanding for all,” Campaign Chair and Catawba Valley Community College executive vice president Keith Mackie said.

United Way volunteers recently picked up campaign packets and will be taking them to local businesses and other organizations this month.

This is a “call to action” Catawba County United Way Executive Director Jennie Connor said.

“It’s time to ask how you want to be involved in your community, how do you want to have an impact in helping your neighbors,” Connor said.

Ann Peele, executive director for the Family Guidance Center in Hickory, talked about the impact her organization has had locally, during a Catawba County United Way campaign volunteer meeting.

The center provides individual and family counseling along with being a domestic violence shelter.

“We don’t know what kind of tragedy or what kind of upheaval will happen tomorrow,” Peele said. “I can tell you based on many of the parents I’ve worked with, whose teenager is being traumatized by domestic violence, they will all tell you how horrendous it is, how it’s impacted their child.”

She reminded the group that while their lives may be comfortable now, they could be the ones looking for help at any moment.

“Domestic violence knows no boundaries. It can impact anyone, and it does,” Peele said. “Please let’s all be on the campaign to prevent some of these problems.”

She reminded everyone they all have an investment in their community.

“We do what we do because it’s part of us and our desire to give back and support our neighbors,” Peele said.

2018-19 funded partners and their programs include:

Adult Life Programs: adult day care - $41,000

ALFA: HIV/AIDS counseling, prevention education and testing - $21,800

Catawba Valley Chapter American Red Cross: emergency/disaster services - $22,367

Catawba Co. DSS Senior nutrition services: meals on wheels - $22,429

Catawba Co. Public Health, Breast Health: breast health education, preventive and screening services - $5,000

Community Ridge Daycare: child care subsidies - $40,571

Council on Adolescents: healthy youth education - $35,148

Council on Adolescents: mentoring programs for at-risk youth: $33,364

ECCCM: crisis financial assistance - $40,194

ECCCM: crisis assistance coaching - $16,833

Exodus Homes: transitional housing for homeless after release from treatment centers/prison - $33,333

Family Guidance Center: consumer credit counseling - $86,047

Family Guidance Center: first step domestic violence shelter - $136,366

Family Guidance Center: Individual and family counseling - $98,750

Family Guidance Center: sexual assault services - $19,929

Partnership for Children:  Imagination Library - $22,107

Patrick Beaver Learning Resource Center: tutoring programs for children grades K-3 - $15,000

The Salvation Army: crisis financial assistance - $24,462

The Salvation Army: Shelter of Hope - $33,893

The Salvation Army: Boys and Girls Club after-school and summer programs - $24,500

Sipes Orchard Home: transitional housing for ages 17-21 - $17,385

If you or your company would like to participate in Catawba County United Way’s 2018-19 campaign call Sylvia Long at 828-327-6851 or visit ccunitedway.com.

 

 

 


Winners Announced at Campaign Celebration Donor Event

Over 150 Catawba County United Way (CCUW) donors attended the 2017 Campaign Celebration and Annual Meeting event held April 18 at the Catawba Country Club.   The United Way celebrated, shared client success stories and thanked individual donors, retirees, schools and corporate leaders and elected officials for their support during the 2017 campaign.

Philip Moore, Vice President PNC Financial Services Group and CCUW Board President welcomed the attendees and spoke about United Way’s impact areas of health, education and financial stability and their grant process. He also reminded the attendees that dollars raised locally are used for local programs.  He encouraged anyone interested in participating in this volunteer-based process scheduled for May 1 and May 8 to contact CCUW.  Also recognized were CCUW Board Members, staff and elected officials as well as the 2018 CCUW funded partners.  Those partners are:  Adult Life Programs, AIDS Leadership Foothills-area Alliance (ALFA), , The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Hickory, Meals on Wheels, Imagination Library, Catawba Valley Chapter American Red Cross,  Community Ridge Daycare, Council on Adolescents of Catawba County, Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministries, Exodus Homes, Family Guidance Center, The Salvation Army and Sipe’s Orchard Home.   The group was also encouraged to visit CCUW’s new mobile friendly web page where a new link, the Money Needs Calculator, can project costs incurred by families for basic needs i.e. housing, childcare, food, health care, etc.

Moore also focused on another important part of United Way’s work is to make available a resource that links people with needs to the valuable health and human services in our community.   2-1-1 the 3-digit phone number is a quick easy call available 24 hours 7 day a week, which links people to resources.  You may also go to the website www.nc211.org to access this information.   Many resources afforded the citizens of our community would go unutilized without this important tool provided by your United Way. 
Moore also recognized, Mr. Benny Yount and Paramount Automotive for their recent announcement of the donation of a brand new car to be given away this December to one lucky fair share donor.  2018 marks the seventh year of Yount’s donation for the Fair Share Donor Car Giveaway.  All CCUW Fair Share donors will be entered in a weekly drawing. The finalists come together for a final event in December where each person will draw a key from a bag and attempt to start the car. The key that starts the car wins. The winner can choose between a Kia, Hyundai or Volkswagen.

Henry Morphis, 2017 CCUW Campaign Chair, thanked the campaign cabinet for their involvement with the workplace campaigns.  With focus on the United Way’s impact in the community, Morphis introduced three of the cabinet members - Humberto Rojo, Century Furniture; Siobhan Loendorf, Catawba County Library and Dr. Jenny White, Hickory Public Schools to come forward to read true ,client success stories provided by three of the funded programs.   

 Morphis announced the winners for awards to three schools. There is a traveling plaque given annually to the winning schools. The winners are the following in the three categories: Elementary school awarded to Conover Special Education, Middle school awarded to River Bend Middle and High school awarded to Catawba Rosenwald Education Center. The schools were rated based on employee participation and employee per capita giving. Schools from all three districts in Catawba County are eligible including Hickory City Schools, Newton-Conover City Schools and Catawba County schools.

Morphis and Board President, Philip Moore presented Community Impact awards to corporations that ran workplace campaigns. There were four divisions. Division 1 winner for 1 to 199 employees was new campaign, Publix, Lake Hickory Crossing.  Division 2 winner for 200 to 499 was Duke Energy.   Division 3 winner for 500 to 799 employees was Shurtape Technologies, LLC. Division 4 winner for 800 plus employees was Corning Cable Systems. Award winners in these divisions were selected based on employee per capita, percentage of participation, volunteerism, engagement with United Way functions and events, participation on United Way committees and panels and where applicable corporate support.

In 1944, the Catawba County United Way began as the Community Chest Fund and War Fund. The name has changed a few times over the 74 years to keep up with our changing community. However, the meaning behind the Community Chest is still relevant today. The Community Chest is provided by the people for the people to benefit the community. 
Century Furniture was presented with the Community Chest Award for their year-round involvement with United Way, their exceptional use of best practices for the workplace campaign, volunteerism and their impact through the United Way on the community.

The Catawba County United Way would like to thank all the donors to the 2017 campaign including corporations, schools, organizations, individual donors and retirees. 

25th Annual United Way Cross Country Invitational

 

October 5, 2017

Catawba County United Way - 25th Annual Cross Country Invitational 

It’s Big Kahuna time! More than 800 high school runners will compete in the 25th Annual United Way Cross Country Invitational races on October 11 at Southside Park in Newton. More than thirty high schools across the state will be represented in this sanctioned event organized by the Catawba County United Way and John Hall. The first of many races begins at 2:40pm.The event emphasizes the importance of volunteerism and community service among teenagers. This is a highly competitive well-attended event. Runners will receive a meal prepared by United Way volunteers and event t-shirts.

READ MORE


Self-Sufficient in Catawba County


October 22, 2017 

Catawba County Organizations Work Against Poverty

HICKORY — In January 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty that sparked an interest in calculating how many people were impoverished across the nation.The following year, the Office of Economic Opportunity adopted Mollie Orshansky’s poverty thresholds, which were derived from the cost of a minimum food diet multiplied by three to account for other family expenses, according to the United States Census Bureau.In the mid-1990s, Dr. Diana Pearce, the director of the Women and Poverty Project at Wider Opportunities for Women at the time, created the Self-Sufficiency Standard (SSS).The SSS was a measure that provided realistic and detailed data on what clients individually needed to be self-sufficient,...

READ FULL STORY


Prescription for a Healthy Community



March 31, 2017

Prescription for a Healthy Community (Feature Hickory Daily Record)

By Pamela Josey Pope, Director of Resource Development, Catawba County United Way

What is your idea of healthy? Eating right and exercising? Excellent! What is your idea of a healthy community? That’s a much bigger question with a much more complicated answer. Catawba County United Way focuses on the health of the community as one of its main impact areas. What does that mean for the community? 

It’s not all apple slices and exercise plans. Improving the health of people in our county means promoting healthy lifestyles. The prescription must include safe environments, healthy beginnings, healthy lifestyles, access to health care, and prevention. The plan for a healthy community requires many paths to improved health.  It is important to be targeted and accountable. 

Safe and secure environments include homes free from physical hazards and a support system to maintain it this also includes helping victims of abuse. Recovery and advocacy services must be provided for all ages. It also means support for seniors and those with disabilities so they have the ability to remain safe and independent for as long as possible.

Read more.........


2016-2017 Spirit Awards

April 19, 2017

Winners announced at Spirit Awards Donor Event


Hickory, NC – Rain did not keep the faithful Catawba County United Way donors away from the Spirit Awards and Annual Meeting event held April 19th at the Catawba Country Club. More than 150 were in attendance as the United Way celebrated, reflected and thanked individual donors, retirees, schools, and corporate leaders for their support during the 2016 campaign.


The event began with a video reflecting moments from the past year. Dr. Aron Gabriel, Asst. Superintendent for Newton-Conover Schools and CCUW Board Member led the group in a moment of reflection. Debra Bechtel, County Attorney and CCUW Board President welcomed the attendees and spoke about the power of the collective efforts in our community to improve education, financial stability and health. Bechtel also recognized CCUW Board Members, staff and special guests.


READ MORE ....

 


February Article- Financial Stability is Important

 

 

February 28, 2017

Make Sure Your Head Isn’t in the Sand. Improving the financial stability of Catawba County residents is a critical impact area.

(Feature Hickory Daily Record)

By Pamela Josey Pope, Director of Resource Development, Catawba County United Way

We all have goals in life. Some people want to build a mansion while others want the comfort of knowing they can pay their bills. Financial stability should not only be a goal but also a reality for anyone who seeks it. Your head is in the sand if you think the lack of financial stability will not touch you or someone you love. 

Catawba County United Way considers financial stability to be one of three main impact areas for our community. Being financially stable means you must create economic security. The road to stability includes mile markers such as securing the costs of daily basic needs, creating an emergency savings fund, and choosing the appropriate asset-building economic security pathway(s). Without financial stability long-term sustainable results in areas of education and health are at much greater risk of failure. 

One does not become financially stable by consistently receiving emergency assistance. While assistance provided through United Way programs will help in times of crisis, it is not intended to sustain an individual or family long-term. The focus is on helping others to become financially stable. Success of this type is a process. The solution takes awareness of the problem and the constant collaboration of many organizations and individuals to have an impact. When Catawba County residents are able to find good jobs, provide for their families and save for the future, they and their children are more likely to lead healthy lives and succeed in school. Financially stable individuals and families lead to a more competitive workforce and a stronger community. Everyone benefits from a stronger community.

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Catawba County United Way - Volunteer Center & Corning Leaders


January 31, 2017

Catawba County United Way welcomed more than 95 Corning Optical Communications Technology leaders for an afternoon of volunteer time with Adult Life Programs. Corning Incorporated graciously asked if their group could participate in a volunteer activity through the United Way Volunteer Center. 

The Corning guests divided into two smaller groups and traveled to the Hickory and Conover Adult Life locations. They were paired with program participants for an afternoon of BINGO, crafts, a little dancing, games and fellowship. Corning guests had a terrific time interacting and getting to know the program participants. They learned that Max is a great Checkers player, Johnnie cannot be beat at Scrabble and Sarah makes beautiful Valentine’s. More importantly they showed compassion and enthusiasm no matter what the activity. There was no shortage of laughter and smiles. 

Participants were eager to learn more about the Corning volunteers too. Many Corning guests were visiting from other countries. Corning leaders from across the region were also a part of the afternoon volunteer time. Corning guests came in carrying gift bags for the participants filled with coloring books and toiletries. They left knowing they had made new friends. 

 Catawba County United Way coordinates volunteer activities between businesses and those in the community. CCUW brings together groups to create great impact in areas of education, health and financial stability. United Way’s mission to improve lives and strengthen communities is fueled by the passion and hard work of volunteers. 

“Meaningful community solutions require more than money, programs or policies. The kind of lasting change that benefits everyone is only possible when people from all walks of life are willing to roll up their sleeves and go where their time and talent is most needed. “ said Jennie Connor, Executive Director of CCUW. 

Tyesha Smith, Corning employee and the event coordinator commented, “Thank you so much for all of the coordination.  It was a wonderful event and experience.  I heard lots of positive reviews and I saw quite a few of our leaders really enjoying themselves.  The time spent was invaluable.  We will definitely seek out more of these activities in the future, with United Way, to serve our community.” 

Adult Life Programs is a Catawba County United Way community partner. They provide support, respite and education to caregivers and affordable, quality day and treatment services enabling adults to remain in their communities. They operate three centers in the county: Hickory, Conover and Maiden.  

Corning (www.corning.com) is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science. For more than 160 years, Corning has applied its unparalleled expertise in specialty glass, ceramics, and optical physics to develop products that have created new industries and transformed people’s lives. Corning succeeds through sustained investment in R&D, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and close collaboration with customers to solve tough technology challenges. Corning’s businesses and markets are constantly evolving. Today, Corning’s products enable diverse industries such as consumer electronics, telecommunications, transportation, and life sciences. They include damage-resistant cover glass for smartphones and tablets; precision glass for advanced displays; optical fiber, wireless technologies, and connectivity solutions for high-speed communications networks; trusted products that accelerate drug discovery and manufacturing; and emissions-control products for cars, trucks, and off-road vehicles.  

For more information about volunteerism, community impact or resources contact Catawba County United Way 828-327-6851, www.ccunitedway.com
Catawba County United Way Volunteer Center-Homeless Count

 

January 30, 2017


Peanut butter, socks, flashlights, and HOPE.

How do you begin to address the needs and numbers of homeless people in our community? You come together and you find a way to connect with them. How do you connect? You give them incentive to be seen and heard. 

Several groups working with the Continuum of Care met at the Catawba County United Way to organize the 2017 Homeless Count also known as the Point-In-Time survey. Teams of volunteers went out into the community last week to find the homeless, the unseen and “count” them. Participants willing to speak with volunteers were provided a backpack full of essential items such as apple sauce, peanut butter, tarps, socks, flashlights, batteries, toiletries and more. Supplies were donated and provided by several collaborative agencies. Wells Fargo employees from across the region packed the bags for the project at the United Way.

The homeless situation in our community is real. Don’t turn the page. The issues our homeless face are not in some other community, county, state or country. It’s right here. The reasons a person becomes homeless are as complex as the solutions. Job losses, mental health, domestic issues, physical health, education, learning disabilities, trauma, PTSD are only a few reasons…and that doesn’t even scratch the surface. 

Homelessness is not only an adult issue. Homelessness touches every age group. Your child may be attending school right now with a child that spent the night in a car or shelter. This is the same young student we expect to perform well in school despite their great disadvantage. Many people in our area would be homeless if they had to do without a pay check for more than a month. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a strong family network to fall back on during tough times. Simply saying, “get a job!” doesn’t add up either. You need an address to get a job. You might even need transportation. Public transportation can be a challenge in a community of our size. 

Teena Willis, Housing Manager at Partners Behavioral Health Management explained,” the homeless Point-In-Time survey helps us identify gaps in our services for the homeless population. The data is extremely important when planning for future housing and transportation solutions as well as applying for grants. It gives us the opportunity to connect, supply basic provisions and provide resources they may not be aware of locally.”

Seek first to understand. The Homeless Point-In-Time project is a national project that counts and reports homeless population numbers across our country. The information assists the shelters, food banks, local government and the United Way to better understand the problem so we together can find solutions. We understand the tremendous impact Education, Heath and Financial Stability have on a person’s life. Tomorrow’s outcome begins today. HOPE must start today. Everyone deserves to have HOPE. Don’t you think?

Thank you to the volunteers and the following groups for your work with the homeless. The Continuum of Care is made up of community leaders from ABCCM, ACCESS Care, ALFA, Catawba County Schools, Catawba County United Way, City of Hickory, Community Link, CVCC, Dept. of Social Services, ECCCM, Exodus Homes, Family Care Center, Family Endeavors, Family Guidance, GHCCM, Greenway Transportation, Hickory Fire Dept., Hickory Police Dept. , Hickory Soup Kitchen, Highways & Hedges, Our Father’s Pavilion, Partners Behavioral Health Management, Safe Harbor Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, Sipes Orchard Home, St. Albans Episcopal Church, Veteran’s Transitional Advocacy Board, and WPCOG- RHA. 

The Catawba County United Way is honored to be a part of the process of bringing HOPE and future resources to our homeless population.For more information on human and social services in our county call 2-1-1 hotline.

Article by: Pamela Josey Pope, Director of Resource Development, Catawba County United Way

Catawba County United Way Accepting 2018 Funding Requests


Catawba County United Way Accepts Funding Requests
 
The Catawba County United Way is accepting Pre-Requests for Funding Proposals for 2018  (Pre-RFPs) that are targeted to address the identified Impact Areas of Health, Education and Income. Health defined as safe and secure environments, healthy beginnings, healthy lifestyles and  access to health care and prevention. Education defined as school readiness, academic achievement, parental/guardian engagement and productive young adults.  Income defined as family-sustaining education and employment, income supports, affordable housing and savings and manageable expenses. Pre-RFP proposals will be accepted for programs identifiable under these impact areas that address the needs of the residents of Catawba County.  
Pre-RFPs will be considered from organizations who are either incorporated as a not-for-profit, tax exempt entity or who have a 501-C3 legal status, within Catawba County, who comply with applicable legal, federal state and local operating and reporting requirements (e.g. government approved accounting practices, annual audit, 990, nondiscrimination). Pre-RFPs for consideration must be operated by an active, responsible and voluntary governing body and adhere to a locally developed and adopted code of ethics for volunteers and staff, which include provisions for ethical management, publicity, fundraising practices and full and fair disclosure. Those organizations selected to complete final Requests for Funding will be notified. All grant amounts are contingent on funding. 
It is important to note, all programs seeking funding by CCUW, who wish to submit a Pre-RFP, must complete a Notice of Intent in order to be assigned access information to the electronic applications. This Notice of Intent is due by 5:00 p.m. February 1, 2017.  
    Pre-RFP applications will only be received electronically, via our website, and will require pre-assigned access information. Deadline for completion of the Pre-RFP is 5:00 p.m. February 09, 2017 in order to be considered for 2018 funding. Late applications will not be accepted.  
For additional information, please contact Sylvia Long at 828/327-6851 or by email to slong@ccunitedway.com.
Catawba County United Way Accepts Funding Requests
 
The Catawba County United Way is accepting Pre-Requests for Funding Proposals for 2018  (Pre-RFPs) that are targeted to address the identified Impact Areas of Health, Education and Income. Health defined as safe and secure environments, healthy beginnings, healthy lifestyles and  access to health care and prevention. Education defined as school readiness, academic achievement, parental/guardian engagement and productive young adults.  Income defined as family-sustaining education and employment, income supports, affordable housing and savings and manageable expenses. Pre-RFP proposals will be accepted for programs identifiable under these impact areas that address the needs of the residents of Catawba County.  
Pre-RFPs will be considered from organizations who are either incorporated as a not-for-profit, tax exempt entity or who have a 501-C3 legal status, within Catawba County, who comply with applicable legal, federal state and local operating and reporting requirements (e.g. government approved accounting practices, annual audit, 990, nondiscrimination). Pre-RFPs for consideration must be operated by an active, responsible and voluntary governing body and adhere to a locally developed and adopted code of ethics for volunteers and staff, which include provisions for ethical management, publicity, fundraising practices and full and fair disclosure. Those organizations selected to complete final Requests for Funding will be notified. All grant amounts are contingent on funding. 
It is important to note, all programs seeking funding by CCUW, who wish to submit a Pre-RFP, must complete a Notice of Intent in order to be assigned access information to the electronic applications. This Notice of Intent is due by 5:00 p.m. February 1, 2017.  
    Pre-RFP applications will only be received electronically, via our website, and will require pre-assigned access information. Deadline for completion of the Pre-RFP is 5:00 p.m. February 09, 2017 in order to be considered for 2018 funding. Late applications will not be accepted.  
For additional information, please contact Sylvia Long at 828/327-6851 or by email to slong@ccunitedway.com.

Catawba County United Way - 72 Year Homecoming!

OCTOBER 19, 2016:

The Catawba County United Way has a permanent home after 72 years with the purchase of the building located at 2760 Tate Boulevard SE, Hickory, NC. The building dedication will be held on Wednesday, October 19 at 4 pm to 6 pm. 

 The ceremony led by CCUW Board President, Bill Cable of People’s Bank, Stephen Shuford CEO of Shurtape Technologies and C. Randall Isenhower, chairman of Catawba County Commissioners, will be held at 4:30 pm. The ceremony will include the recognition of donors with a large bronze plaque affixed to the exterior. The plaque will list donors to the building fund. 

“The building was purchased with donations from private donors that provided contributions above and beyond their annual giving”, said Jennie Connor, CCUW executive director. “No monies were used from the yearly campaign,” emphasized Connor.  

The facilities include administrative offices, board room, training room, and storage areas. The larger rooms are available for community meetings. Community partners are encouraged to use the facility. Furnishings were brought from the previous location which was Corning Cable Systems. Corning provided the office space as a gift-in-kind to CCUW from 2004 to 2016. 

The event will include a presentation of the CCUW history, photos and memorable moments, a Proclamation, and refreshments. 

 For 72 years, Catawba County United Way has been an independent, locally governed and community-supported nonprofit agency, doing significant work in our community.  Their focus is on identifying and creating long-term, lasting change in the areas of Education, Income and Health with outcomes that will ultimately create a more vital, more stable, better community in which to live and work.  CCUW provides organizations and individuals the opportunity to give, advocate and volunteer to help achieve measurable results and strengthen Catawba County. Visit www.ccunitedway.comfor more CCUW information.

  

Catawba County United Way - 24th Annual Cross Country Invitational 

OCTOBER 12, 2016:

 

Buses, runners, coaches, families, hot dogs and community! The 24th Annual Unifour Cross Country Invitational will be held at Southside Park in Newton on October 12th. 

 

 Each year, high school teams must complete a service project in order to register for the races. More than 30 high schools, on average, participate in the highly competitive races each year totaling up to more than 700 runners. More than five races will be run, beginning with the developmental contest at 2 p.m. 

 

 The meet will conclude with awards and a special presentation by Dr. Amanda Kloo, the founder of Project Momentum. This year’s theme comes from Project Momentum’s twitter handle which encourages fitness and inclusivity. The theme is “#Getsomemo.” The event is free and open to the public. 

 

 Project Momentum seeks the make health and fitness possible for everyone, and it began several years ago as a result of Dr.Kloo’s own remarkable story. A mom, wife and an education professor at Belmont Abbey College, she has cerebral palsy and spent much of her life believing physical strength was unattainable. On December 3, 2013 she began a quest to change that, and with the help of Crossfit 77 in Mooresville she did. Today Dr. Kloo no longer depends on her braces and canes, she has improved her health and fitness significantly, and last year she finished fifth in the Adaptive Crossfit Division at the 2015 Working Wounded Games. 

 

“My health, work, family and life have been completely transformed by functional fitness training,” Dr.Kloo says, “and I have promised myself I will do everything in my power to pay it forward.”  

 

 “The races will include some of the best runners in the state,” said John Hall, event organizer. In addition to racing that afternoon, participants will enjoy a meal prepared by United Way volunteers, meet t-shirts and other gifts, and compete for a number of awards. 

 

 This year’s United Way Invitational is the 24th annual race and will continue a tradition as a highly competitive and unique high school cross country event. The premier sponsors are Cargo Transporters, Century Furniture and Catawba Valley Medical Center. Additional sponsors of the event include Catawba County United Way, Newton Recreation, A Signco, Premier Screen Printing, Sharp, Pepsi, Drums-Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home, and Big Kahuna Timing. 

 

Photos of the event including award winners and sponsors will be posted on the www.ccunitedway.com website following the event. Follow Catawba County United Way on Facebook. 

 

 John Hall, an event organizer said, “This is really unique in that it is a high school athletic event.  It’s certainly one of the largest events in this area. Thank you to the coaches, the runners, United Way volunteers for your participation in the meet.”   

 

CCUW provides organizations and individuals the opportunity to give, advocate and volunteer to help achieve measurable results and strengthen Catawba County. Visit www.ccunitedway.com for more CCUW information. 

 

 

Catawba County United Way Welcomes New Board Members Announces New Officers



Catawba County United Way welcomed seven new members to its Board of Directors and has announced its new officers.  The group was introduced at the recent CCUW Board Advance.

New members to the Catawba County United Way Board include Dr. Robbie Adell, Superintendent, Hickory Public Schools; Rev. Ken Curtis, Sr. Pastor, Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church; Dr. Aron Gabriel, Superintendent, Newton-Conover City Schools; Sean (Bobby) Lineberger, Master Sgt, NC Highway Patrol; Rodney Miller, Asst. City Manager, City of Hickory; Robert Miracle, CFO, Catawba County Government and Mark Turner, VP and Treasurer, CommScope. 

Newly elected officers are Board President, Bill Cable, Peoples Bank; Vice President, Debra Bechtel, Catawba County Government and Treasurer, Kevin Boyle, Century Furniture.  Philip Moore, PNC Bank, will serve as the 2016-2017 Campaign Chair.  

Catawba County United Way’s Board of Directors consists of community leaders who volunteer their time to oversee the governance of the organization as well as guide its strategic direction.  Each new Board member will serve an initial three year term ending in 2017. “We are pleased to welcome these committed and impassioned individuals to our board. They join our returning members who are actively involved in the local community and bring a wealth of expertise and talent to our organization," explained Jennie Connor, Executive Director, "Each member will help us accomplish our organizational objectives, strengthen our connection to the community, and communicate our many success stories." 

Dr. Adell attended Western Carolina University and University of the Cumberlands where he earned his doctorate in 2011.   A member of the NC Assoc. of Educators, he enjoys reading, golf and is a fan of college football.  Adell and wife Melody reside in Hickory and have two children.

Senior Pastor of Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, Sherrills Ford, NC, Rev. Curtis is a graduate of Appalachian State University and Emory University. He is a current member of the Sherrills Ford/Terrell Rotary and volunteers with the Sherrills Ford Optimist Club as coach for both soccer and baseball.  Curtis and wife Mindy have four children and reside in Sherrills Ford.

Dr. Gabriel, Asst. Superintendent, Newton-Conover City Schools, attended Montreat College, UNCC, Appalachian State and Western Carolina University.  He currently serves on the NC Assoc. of School Administrators and is a board member of the Hearts and Hope Foundation.  A Catawba County native, Gabriel and wife Mandy have two children and reside in Sherrills Ford.

Master Sgt. Lineberger, of the NC Highway Patrol, attended Bunker Hill High School and Livingstone College.   He is presently Board Chair for the State Employees Credit Union and serves as VP of the Oxford Fire Department.  In his spare time, Lineberger enjoys golf and refereeing college basketball.  He and wife Brittany have two children and reside in Claremont.

Assistant City Manager for the City of Hickory, Miller is a member of the NC Government Finance Officers Assoc, WPCOG Region E Development Corp, Government Finance Officers Assoc. – US & Canada and was recognized as Most Outstanding NC Finance Officer in 2011.  A Hickory native, he is a graduate of St. Stephens High School and NC State University. Miller enjoys golf, volleyball and guitar.  He and wife Tracy have three children and reside in Hickory.

Miracle, a CPA, is CFO for Catawba County Government.  A graduate of Ohio State University where he majored in accounting he is a member of both the National and NC Government Finance Officers Assoc.   Miracle is an outdoor enthusiast and soccer referee, Miracle and wife Donna have three children and reside in Hickory.

Turner, VP & Treasurer, CommScope, Inc. attended Dexter High School, Dexter, MI and the University of Michigan where he received his BBA and MBA. He enjoys water skiing and guitar.  Turner and wife Darcy reside in Hickory and have one child.

For 72 years, Catawba County United Way has been an independent, locally governed and community-supported nonprofit agency, doing significant work in our community.  Their focus is on identifying and creating long-term, lasting change in the areas of Education, Income and Health with outcomes that will ultimately create a more vital, more stable, better community in which to live and work.  CCUW provides organizations and individuals the opportunity to give, advocate and volunteer to help achieve measurable results and strengthen Catawba County.