your impact in action
A Community of Thanks
A MESSAGE FROM OUR LEADERS
Click here to watch our new United Way of Henderson County Community Impact Video!
We are living in a world that has been turned upside down. The impact from COVID-19 is reaching into every corner of our community. Families that were already living on the edge are now facing even harder times. Although we may all be in the same storm, we are not in the same boat. Some of us have boats that can ride out the storm with minimal damage. Others are finding themselves shipwrecked.
That’s why United Way’s work is more important now than ever before. Thankfully, there are those who are willing to step out of their own ships to help others stay afloat. We are so grateful that you are stepping out with us, and that we can offer help where it is most needed.
Denise Cumbee Long, Executive Director
Sherri Holbert, Board Chair
HOW TO READ THIS IMPACT REPORT
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BOARD of directors and STAFF
To be a catalyst in making a positive and lasting impact on the human condition in Henderson County.
To organize and mobilize community resources to improve lives of Henderson County residents.
When you see this button, click to be taken to an external web page that will include much more information than we could print in this report!
Over 37,000 Henderson County neighbors benefit from our work each year. We invite you to click through the following pages to see our impact in action through stories, photos and videos from community members that have been impacted by our work, along with video testimonials from many of the nonprofit partners that we support.
This is all made possible because of donors and volunteers like you!
When you see this button, click to be taken to an impact video that will allow you to hear directly from our partners and their clients about the impact of your United Way dollars!
19 graduates completed the program and are ready to serve on Henderson County nonprofit boards and committees
bringing together agencies and community stakeholders to advocate for issues that make life better for individuals and families in Henderson County
10 programs that focus on education
federal funding to assist individuals with emergency rent, mortgage and utility payments
of food collected during the National Association of Letter Carriers food drive
9 programs that focus on income
Small Business League member businesses donated bus passes
to help with transportation
grants awarded to 37 agencies
12 programs that focus on basic needs
Over 800 volunteers donated 3,470 hours
CREATING LASTING CHANGE FOR OVER 30,000 PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY
HENDERSON COUNTY COVID-19
HENDERSON COUNTY YOUTH COUNCIL
7 programs that focus on health
funding for 19 nonprofit partners
supporting 38 programs
EMERGENCY FOOD & SHELTER PROGRAM
DAYS OF CARING
DAY OF ACTION
teens advocating for teens in
interactive walking trails at local parks that help boost school readiness for children in their preschool years
LITTLE FREE LIBRARY
Women United initiative that improves self-esteem and school success for elementary and middle school girls
2,222 volunteers supporting 95 nonprofit agencies
BLESSINGS IN BOXES
BORN LEARNING TRAILS
female leadership donors making a big impact
3,684 calls from Henderson County residents
July 1, 2019- June 30, 2020
United Way partnership that saves an average of on prescription costs
OUR COLLECTIVE IMPACT IS VALUED AT MORE THAN $2 MILLION
neighborhood book exchange program at Sullivan Park that inspires readers and strengthens the community
Women United members provided Christmas gifts for children in need
Andre is the little brother of NC Big Brother of the Year Joey Popp. "Littles" like Andre experience improved academic performance, improved classroom behavior, improved completion of homework and 92% showed improved relationships, according to BBBS of WNC.
Through investments in high quality preschool, outreach to young children who are not in formal childcare settings, and screening kids to catch developmental delays, we are preparing Henderson County children for success in kindergarten and beyond.
Blue Ridge Literacy Council
Children & Family Resource Center
Parents as Teachers
Preschoolers Reaching Educational Potential (PREP)
Once Upon A Time
Helping Hand Development Center
Smart Start Partnership for Children
Dolly Parton Imagination Library
Reach Out and Read
By supporting quality afterschool and summer programs, and pairing kids with caring adult mentors, we are working to improve the school performance of economically disadvantaged students so they can succeed in school.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC
Henderson County Program
Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County
We all want to live in a community where students get a great education that prepares them for college, careers, and a good life. United Way is committed to providing opportunities to help all children succeed, regardless of the obstacles they face.
ne family received their first Reach Out and Read book at their son Luca's 6-month well-child visit. The book features 11 pages of big, brightly colored baby faces. Luca quickly became enamored by the book and loved to hold it and stare and babble at the faces.
This family is grateful for the support of programs like Reach Out and Read that help develop a love of reading in their infant son which will help prepare him for success in kindergarten and in life.
One physician continually thanks us for providing the books to her clinic. She calls it a "win-win." She uses the books as an antidote to screen time, especially when a child is engaged in screen time while waiting in her office. She reports that so often children are staring at screens way too early and for way too long. She recommends to families that they replace screen time with book time and models how to read books with their young children.
~Kelly Hart, Program Director, Smart Start Partnership for Children
n 2019, United Way of Henderson County partnered with OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling to offer the SECURE Matched Savings for Emergencies program to local employees of non-profit and government agencies. The SECURE program helps participants build knowledge, skills and habits around personal budgeting and building emergency savings and offers a 4 to 1 match as an incentive to save.
88% of enrollees have completed the program and graduated
5 participants are still enrolled with the opportunity to complete program requirements
$8,610 has been saved so far by Henderson County participants
36 Henderson County participants have graduated and received the $840 match, for a total of $30,240 in match money distributions
“It feels really, really good not to have to worry living paycheck to paycheck. It's great to have some freedom if something comes up.”
Safelight collaborates with OnTrack to provide group financial education. OnTrack helps clients learn money management and budgeting skills and behaviors. 92% of clients surveyed indicated the clients reported feeling an increase in financial stability.
We know that many in our community are facing economic challenges and struggling to support themselves and their families. United Way believes that when we help our neighbors gain the skills they need to improve their income, pay down debt and manage their money, we build a better Henderson County for everyone.
Decrease number of individuals living below the poverty line.
Blue Ridge Literacy Council
Pisgah Legal Services
Disability Assistance Program
Justice for All Program
Focus on Affordable Housing:
Increase number of families and individuals who have affordable, safe, decent housing.
Habitat for Humanity
Infrastructure Development of Dodd Meadows Subdivision
OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling
Affordable Housing Services
Pisgah Legal Services
Homeless Prevention Project
uring the Spring of 2019, fifth grade boys participating in the SMART Moves program at the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County were enrolled in the Passport to Manhood program led by Mr. Luis.
Zay and Ricky, two boys with a history of misbehavior, came off with very tough exteriors and acted aggressively towards others. During the class about healthy relationships, Mr. Luis shared his personal experience of witnessing abuse. The class as a whole opened up and started sharing more about themselves, and Zay and Ricky both shared that they had seen their moms abused. Zay said his dad is currently in jail, and he doesn't want to be like that and wants to do better. It gave Mr. Luis an opportunity to guide him through understanding that the choices were Zay's.
Mr. Luis has noticed an improvement in his behavior and he hasn't been sent to the front office for behavior issues since.
~Mrs. Bonnie, SMART Moves Director
We all have a stake in creating a healthier community, one where our neighbors lead long, active lives and are able to enjoy living in such a beautiful place. We work to reduce the obesity rate and decrease risky youth behaviors.
Aspire has adapted their services during COVID-19 by supplying food boxes with spices, oil, dry goods, produce and meats for the families. The chef leads the youth in preparing meals from the box's ingredients for their families with online live instruction twice a week. "The youth have talked openly about the challenges they have been facing and our hope is by aiding them with food insecurity and providing productive tasks through cooking, we can help them and their families feel supported during this difficult time," said Kimberly Castano, Executive Director.
Fight Against Obesity:
By educating and supporting our neighbors to make good nutrition choices, get enough daily exercise, and find the help they need to maintain a healthy weight, our partners are building a healthier Henderson County.
Boys & Girls Club
Smart Start Partnership for Children
Healthy Youth Behaviors:
We are committed to reducing the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco among our youth and to teaching healthy ways to navigate social media and peer influence.
Aspire Youth and Family
Kids at Work
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina
Healthy Youth Initiative Program
Boys & Girls Club
Children & Family Resource Center
Community Based Prevention
Youth Education and Outreach
Staff and volunteers with the Meals on Wheels program deliver nutritious meals to homebound residents each weekday. Clients also receive important social interaction with caring volunteers. These visits, which also serve as a regular wellness checks, often turn into lasting friendships.
etween March 1st and June 30th, MANNA FoodBank distributed 742,892 pounds of food, or the equivalent of 619,076 meals, for people in need across Henderson County, many of whom were plunged into a financial crisis overnight.
People and their families across Western North Carolina are facing dire economic hardships – and this is on top of what was already a “perfect storm” of economic issues contributing to 1 in 6 adults and 1 in 4 children facing an empty plate, even before the pandemic. Now, with millions across the country unemployed, food insecurity is at an all-time high, and the region has been particularly hard hit due to fact that our economy is largely driven by the leisure and service industries.
With the generous support of UWHC, along with that of so many other supporters, our 14 partner agencies in Henderson County were able to be there to bring desperately needed food and hope to thousands of Henderson County residents during this unimaginable time.
~Hannah Randall, Chief Executive Officer, MANNA FoodBank
basic needs & crisis services
Calvary Episcopal Church
Council on Aging
Meals on Wheels
Angel Fund for Hospice and Palliative Care Program
Food Distribution in Henderson County MANNA Packs for Kids
Medical Loan Closet
Low Cost Medical Loan Program
Adult Day Services at Pardee
Pisgah Legal Services
Domestic Violence Prevention Program
Emergency Program Family Justice Center/Child Advocacy Center
The Free Clinics
Safety Net Program
United Way believes that by providing food, medical assistance and crisis services to Henderson County residents in need, we are helping the most vulnerable among us to take control of their lives and create a better tomorrow for themselves and their families.
Providing food to local food pantries was one of the most common requests for funding as the need increased dramatically in the community. Pictured above are clients, staff and volunteers from Edneyville Food Pantry and Interfaith Assistance Ministry.
COVID-19 RESPONSE FUND
As the COVID-19 pandemic began impacting community residents in March 2020, United Way was here to help. We partnered with Community Foundation of Henderson County to create the Henderson County COVID-19 Response Fund. The Fund was designed to rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations working on the front lines of the pandemic. As of July 10, 2020, $435,620 had been raised from generous donors and foundations, over $339,000 had been distributed to 37 local agencies, and funds continue to be awarded. Grants helped vulnerable Henderson County residents with food, rent, utility assistance, personal protective equipment, childcare, cleaning supplies, and virtual health, education and e-pharmacy services.
The COVID-19 Response Fund received a generous early gift of $100,000 from the McGrady family (Chuck and Jean, Mike and Martina, and Kathy) that was intended to jumpstart the Fund and spur others to give. We are deeply grateful for the McGrady family’s support and the generosity of the many others who stepped up to assist those in need in Henderson County.
“My family has deep roots in this community, and our philanthropy expresses our love for Henderson County and its people. During this unprecedented crisis, we want to be able to assist those who are going to be most impacted." ~Representative Chuck McGrady
St. Gerard House (SGH) in Hendersonville supports families and children touched by autism. To enable a quick pivot to remote learning this Spring, SGH received a $5,000 grant from the COVID-19 Response Fund to enhance their distance learning support for students with autism. Executive Director Caroline Long shared that instructors were thrilled to have the ability to continue to serve their students during the stay at home order.
"Through technology secured through the grant, they have been able to meet with students and continue to work on important skills. Teachers have gained new perspective and insight after seeing their students in their home environments and many students have blossomed with the new virtual model. While they will be thrilled to get back to normal, they feel fortunate to have been able to continue serving their students and families during this unprecedented time," Long added.
Children and Family Resource Center (CFRC) held drive-through diaper drives on Fridays to assist families who needed formula and diapers.
"We could not have done this without the support of United Way and Community Foundation."
~Jamie Wiener, Executive Director, CFRC
hrough the generous support of the Henderson County COVID-19 Response Fund, True Ridge helped members of the Latinx community with rent and food. The stories and circumstances that these families shared are just a fragment of the burden and strain on our neighbors as a result of this pandemic.
One household shared with a True Ridge advocate that the father had been laid off due to COVID-19 and the mother’s work hours were reduced. Because both vehicles were in need of repair, the mother was not able to get to work. Besides the well-being for their two children, they needed to pay their rent and get food for the family. Grant funding paid $300 toward their rent.
Another family came to True Ridge after the Hola Carolina broadcast. The father has reduced hours with his construction work and the mother lost her nursery job. The family has not accessed food stamps or Medicaid for fear they would “get in trouble”. True Ridge staff explained their three American-born children could receive food stamps and Medicaid benefits. True Ridge was able to help with $300 for rent and a $50 Aldi gift card.
True Ridge is profoundly grateful to United Way and Community Foundation. Without this funding, we would not have been able to help 52 families.
~ Lori Garcia-McCammon, Executive Director, True Ridge
We thank our partner:
Volunteer Hendo Connects Volunteers and Agencies
"Volunteering at The Medical Loan Closet has provided me with new friends and a feeling of pride and purpose. The best part of the job is knowing that I am helping someone deal with a disability or obstacle. It gives me a deep sense of satisfaction and joy to know that I helped that happen."
~Ginger Brown, Volunteer
vOLUNTEER HENDO & 211
NC 2-1-1 Provides Critical Services
Since 2016, Volunteer Hendo has been connecting individuals looking for a meaningful way to give back to their community to the nonprofit agencies who need their help. Our online portal provides an easy way for individuals to search opportunities based on their interests and for local agencies to quickly and efficiently list the opportunities they have available.
“I love using Volunteer Hendo! It is the easiest way for me to find people who match my volunteer needs. I've seen an increase in volunteers since using it and it's free!" ~Kira Isaken, Volunteer Coordinator, Safelight
Volunteer Hendo has grown to 2,222 active users that support 95 nonprofit agencies in Henderson County. The portal can be accessed by visiting www.volunteerhendo.org.
Volunteer Hendo is generously sponsored by:
211 is United Way’s information and referral helpline to connect callers with essential health and human services. The service is free, accessible 24/7, completely confidential, and available in many languages.
In March 2020, Governor Cooper instructed NC residents to turn to 2-1-1 for COVID-19 related resources and information. Over 69,847 calls and emails were answered between March 18th and June 30th, and 2-1-1 continues to be a source of ongoing recovery information especially for food, housing and financial assistance with utilities and bills, according to 211 referral specialists.
"Kylie called NC 211 because her family was struggling. Ever since COVID-19 started, it seems like it has been one thing after another. Both she and her husband are now out of work and the bills just keep piling up. The family is behind on their rent and utilities and they are struggling to put food on the table each week, plus her husband was showing symptoms of the virus. Kylie was feeling stressed and overwhelmed, so she called 2-1-1. The call specialist worked to find a food pantry near Kylie’s home and told her about the pantry’s special distribution hours. Next, the specialist told Kylie about how she could find a COVID testing site for her husband and also explained how she could go online and use a symptom checker tool as an extra resource. And, finally, the specialist gave her information on a local community agency that will be distributing funds in her area to those in need. When Kylie hung up, she was much calmer and felt like she had a clear plan of the steps to take to help her family. And, Kylie knew she could call 2-1-1 again if she needed to in the coming weeks."
~NC 211 Referral Specialist
Call or visit www.nc211.org to get help today.
This two-day event also encompassed the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, the largest single day food drive in the nation.
On Saturday, local Letter Carriers and volunteers collected 45,000 pounds of non-perishable food donations from postal customers’ mailboxes across the county.
The collected food was distributed to Interfaith Assistance Ministry, The Salvation Army, and The Storehouse to help stock their pantry shelves for the summer months.
On Friday, May 10th and Saturday, May 11th, 2019, more than 300 community volunteers on corporate and civic teams came together to work on 38 service projects at 25 Henderson County nonprofit agencies as part of our annual Days of Caring. These volunteers donated 1,270 hours to help make our community a better place. Their time and effort equated to a contribution of $32,296 and made a significant impact at local nonprofits.
Days of Caring Gold Sponsor:
Click here to see more photos from our 2019 Days of Caring!
Event Food Sponsor:
days of caring 2019
Click here to see more photos from our 2019 Day of Action!
On August 16th, 2019 over 500 volunteers spread out at 22 schools across the county and worked on projects that included painting, mulching the grounds, repairing playgrounds and equipment, cleaning, planting, and a variety of other jobs that school staff would not otherwise have the time or resources to complete. Volunteers and community members also donated $10,422 in school supplies and we collected 1,109 pounds of nonperishable food items for students in need. This singular day of service resulted in 2,200 volunteer hours valued at $55,946!
Day of Action is proudly sponsored by:
Event food sponsor:
day of action 2019
Rising Leaders Class of 2019-20
These leaders are well-equipped and ready to serve, despite our program being cut short in Spring 2020 due to coronavirus.
Tara Abshire, Brevard Housing Authority
Chrystal Anthony, Beverly Hanks
Chase Arrington, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch
Jessica Bentley, WNC Bridge Foundation
Ericka Berg, Conserving Carolina
Barbara Dunkin, Remax
Amanda Gardiner, Wells Fargo Bank
Alexandra Green, Western Carolina Community Action
Hayley Hucks, Bold Earth Adventures
Ben Lucas, Vocational Solutions
Mike Murphy, BorgWarner
Lindsay Patton, Formation PR
Matt Paynter, Mast General Store
Doug Rostick, Edward Jones
Mark Russell, Southern Alarm and Security
Chris Scruggs, We Sell WNC/Keller Williams
Duane Sizelove, Pardee UNC Health Care
Ashleigh Swayze, Henderson County DSS
Josh Warren, Warren Restoration
Rising Leaders (RL) is a seven-month long program, designed to develop the next generation of community leaders and board members for Henderson County nonprofit organizations.
Participants attend monthly information sessions and learn from local professionals about a variety of topics including nonprofit life cycles, fundraising, marketing, financial and legal responsibilities and a how-to in parliamentary procedures.
Thanks to generous sponsorships by WNC Bridge Foundation and Carolina Village, RL is free of charge for all participants. Space is limited each year. Graduates are already making a strong impact in our community, as many of them have been recruited to serve on committees, boards of directors and in other key roles of local non-profit organizations. To learn more about Rising Leaders, contact Sarah Kowalak at RL@liveunitedhc.org.
Rising Leaders is sponsored by:
Each RL class chooses a project site, and last year our RL class dedicated a full Saturday to painting and redesigning the teen space at the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County.
Henderson County residents saved over $235,883 in prescription costs last year, thanks to United Way's free FamilyWize prescription savings program. FamilyWize is available to everyone, whether you have insurance or not.
Residents can use an easy-to-navigate price estimator on our website to see prescription costs at local pharmacies. Prescription cards are available at our office or by visiting www.familywize.org.
Pictured are members of HCYC at Blue Ridge Community College in November 2019 at ‘An Evening with Ryan Hampton, Inspiring Recovery in Henderson County.' Hampton is the author of 'American Fix: Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis and How to End It.'
support for families & YOUTH
Henderson County Youth Council is a student-led, leadership focused group that brings together students from each of the five Henderson County high schools and is guided by staff at United Way and HopeRx.
HopeRx is a grassroots effort initiated by the Henderson County Partnership for Health in 2013 as a community collaborative to educate, evaluate, and implement evidence based models on substance misuse and underage drinking in Henderson County by building capacity and creating long-term and sustainable plans that are action-oriented and focus on community level change.
In December 2019, members organized a school supply re-“stocking” drive for fellow students in need, and volunteered as mentors in the Henderson County Public Schools before and after school child care programs.
United Way of Henderson County joins United Ways across the country in offering Born Learning experiences at two locations in Henderson County: Mills River Park and on the Oklawaha Greenway between Berkeley and Patton Parks.
Born Learning Trails are designed to help parents, caregivers and the entire community use everyday moments outdoors to boost school readiness of local children during their preschool years. The trails feature age-appropriate games on engaging signs placed throughout Mills River Park and the greenway with activities that are great learning opportunities for young children.
The League hosted its 2nd Annual Kickball Tournament in October 2019 at Berkeley Mills Field. Teams representing companies throughout Henderson County came together to play kickball and raise funds to support United Way and our community. After a sunny afternoon of friendly competition and camaraderie, the final round came down to Horizon Heating & Air and SELEE Corporation, with SELEE taking home the winner’s trophy!
2019 SBL MEMBERS
"We are excited to be partnering with the Small Business League and United Way in helping to make a positive difference in people’s lives in the community." ~Bill Crisp, Transportation Director, Western Carolina Community Action/Apple Country Public Transit
United Way of Henderson County Small Business League (SBL) members are an important family of donors who are vital to helping us meet the needs of our community. By contributing $84 a month, these business are making a lasting investment in the education, income, health and basic needs of Henderson County.
League members fund a special initiative each year, and in 2019, this team of small business leaders voted to support bus passes from Apple County Transit. These passes will assist local residents who need employment transportation, such as getting to work or a job interview.
If you are interested in learning more about how your small business can make a lasting impact in your community, please contact Kat Carlton at email@example.com.
small business league
Women United (WU) connects and engages women who want to make a significant impact in our community. By contributing $1,000 or more annually to United Way, WU members can take advantage of organized volunteer initiatives, community education and networking opportunities.
Girls EMpowered (GEM):
GEM, now in its 4th year, is an after-school program for girls designed to increase self-esteem and school success. Women United members volunteer as program coordinators, assist at school sessions and line up guest speakers in addition to providing each GEM graduate a backpack filled with school supplies for the next school year.
Although the 2019-2020 school year was interrupted by the coronavirus, we were able to serve 29 fifth grade girls at Upward and Hillandale Elementary Schools and 23 young women at Hendersonville Middle School, our newest GEM program. Also new this year was a downtown tour of women owned businesses.
Quarterly Giveback Opportunities:
Women United members designate a specific nonprofit agency to benefit from quarterly giveback opportunities at their social events. This past year, these agencies received the following donations:
Department of Social Services
$612 in donated books for foster families
Emergency Clothing Closets at Upward and Hillandale Elementary Schools
$1,103 in donated clothing items
The Storehouse Blessings in Boxes Program
Christmas gifts purchased for 52 children
Women United is generously sponsored by:
Additional sponsorships provided by:
C. Edwards Group, Inc.
"It only takes one to make a difference in a life, but as a group, Women United members can make world-changing impact to last a lifetime."
~Pauline Carpenter, Women United member
GEM Downtown Business Tour
WOMEN UNITED MEMBERS*
Amy Lynn Holt
Denise Cumbee Long
*as of 7/31/20
We are grateful to the following women-owned businesses who opened their doors and their hearts to our GEM girls this past year in our first ever downtown business tour:
Aquarium & Shark Lab by Team ECCO
Beehive Resale Shop
Center for Art & Entertainment
Joy of Books
Sherman's Sports and Army Store
Silver Fox Gallery
Three Chopt Restaurant
WAG! Pet Boutique
2019 CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIRS
Chief Donnie & Mrs. Theresa Parks
Thank you for your time to learn more about our community impact! To get involved or make a donation today, please visit www.liveunitedhc.org
Connect with us:
United Way of Henderson County
32 Smyth Ave., Ste. 100, 28792
P. O. Box 487, 28793