Press Release: United Way of Forsyth County Supported Agencies Offering Free Tax Preparation to Low and Moderate Income Families

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – United Way of Forsyth County supported Forsyth Free Tax (FFT) is offering free tax preparation to low and moderate income families and seniors in Forsyth County from Feb. 1 to April 15.

FFT in collaboration with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, provides U.S. Internal Revenue Service-certified volunteers to prepare basic income tax returns free for individuals earning $54,000 a year or less. Individuals earning $64,000 or less, are able to file self-prepared returns online free at (

The volunteer tax preparers will also assist with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) initiative, the largest anti-poverty program in the US, lifting 9 million people out of poverty. The EITC provides low-income working adults with a tax credit based on their income. On average, a qualified Forsyth County taxpayer receives $1,700 in EITC credit, and the credit can sometimes total more than the amount earned during the year. In addition to benefiting working families, the credit brings money directly into the Forsyth County community.

The free tax services will be provided from 13 locations throughout Forsyth County:

Experiment in Self-Reliance (3480 Dominion Street, 336-722-9400) – Open Feb. 1 – April 18, Mondays-Thursdays 10 am — 3 pm, Saturdays 9 am- 1 pm, closed April 15.

Goodwill Industries (2760 Peters Creek Parkway, 336-201-0800) – Feb. 7 – April 13, Tuesdays, Thursdays 4 pm-7: 30 pm.

Goodwill Industries (2701 University Parkway, 336-724-3625) – Feb. 1 — April 13, Wednesdays, Thursdays 4 pm-8 pm

King Public Library (101 Pilot View Drive, King, NC, 336-983-3868) – Feb. 9 – April 13, Thursdays 4-8 pm, appointments only

Malloy-Jordan Center (1110 East 7th Street, 336-703-2950) – Feb. 11 – April 15, Saturdays 10 am-2 pm, closed April 8.

Mi Casa Servicios Hispano-Latino (1705 Link Road, 336-722-7040) – Feb. 1- April 18, Monday-Friday 9 am – 5 pm, closed April 14.

Prosperity Center South (508 Waughtown Street, 336-788-4965) – Feb. 1- April 17, Mondays 9 am -12 pm, Wednesdays 4 pm-8 pm, Fridays 11 am-3 pm, Saturdays 9 am-1 pm, closed April 14-15.

Winston-Salem Transit Authority (100 W. 5th Street, 336-727-2000) – Feb. 6- April 18, Mondays and Tuesdays 4 pm – 8 pm, Fridays 1 pm-5 pm, closed April 11.

Walnut Cove Senior Center (308 Brooke Street, Walnut Cove, NC, 336-591-5442) – Feb. 6 – April 17, Mondays 1 pm-5 pm, appointments only.

Winston-Salem Federal Credit Union (711 E Salem Ave., 336-727-2663) – Feb. 1 – April 13, Monday-Thursday 9 am – 4 pm, appointments only.

Rural Hall Library (7125 Broad Street, Rural Hall, NC, 336-703-2970) – Feb. 8 – April 12, Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., appointments only.

Participants are asked to bring a picture ID, Social Security card for themselves and each dependent they are claiming, all W-2s and 1099s, employer ID number or SS number of childcare providers, and last year’s tax returns if itemizing. Individuals desiring direct deposit of any refund are required to bring a check or savings account information.

Media Advisory: National Reading Day-United Way of Forsyth County Takes Book Donations for Project Graduation to Benefit Elementary School Students

United Way of Forsyth County Takes Book Donations for Project Graduation to Benefit Elementary School Students


When:            8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on, Jan. 23-27


What:  In celebration of National Reading Day, United Way of Forsyth County (UWFC) is collecting new children’s books for kids age 12 and under.  The books will be donated by UWFC to elementary  schools in the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School district. This effort supports increasing the high school graduation rate in Forsyth County.


Where: Winston Tower, 301 N. Main Street, 17th floor, Winston- Salem.


Who:  To benefit elementary and middle school students in Forsyth County.  


Why:   UWFC has invested 1.2 million with the school system for its Project Graduation — an ongoing initiative to raise the district’s graduation rate to 90 percent by 2018.  From a start rate of 70 percent, the current graduation rate to 85.8%. That means there are 2,509 graduates who would not have graduated pre-2007. The average graduate earns $400,000 more in a lifetime than a drop out.  That amounts to a $1.004 billion dollar impact on our community. Those statistics can improve with a 90 percent graduation rate.


Press Release: Volunteers Will Hit the Streets to Count People Experiencing Homelessness on January 25

WINSTON-SALEM, NC –  Every year on the last Wednesday in January, the lives of people experiencing homelessness have a greater potential to be changed, thanks to a program coordinated by United Way of Forsyth County (UWFC) and the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Continuum of Care.

Starting at 9 p.m. on January 25, dozens of volunteers will meet at Samaritan Ministries 414 E NW Blvd, and hit the streets throughout the night to count the number of people sleeping outside. The exercise, called Homeless Point-in-Time Count is a one-day, unduplicated count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families that happens across the country.

The event is part of a national initiative to measure and combat chronic homelessness. The goal is to give the local and federal government an idea of how many people are experiencing homelessness in the area, to make sure there are enough appropriate services to help them.

Two teams of volunteers will be organized into groups of four or five and in two shifts, 9 pm-12 am and 1am-4am. Organizers will be assembling bags of necessities to hand out to homeless men and women with donations of winter hats, scarves, hand warmers, individual tissue packets, sun screen, bottled water, canned foods with pop-tops or pre-packaged food, and plastic utensils. Before the volunteers take to the streets, they will receive training on personal safety, how to identify homeless individuals, where homeless individuals may be sleeping and how to survey individuals experiencing homelessness.

This is the final count during the 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness. In October 2015, Winston-Salem was certified as having met the goal of ending veteran homelessness. Now the community is attempting to end chronic homelessness by 2017. Both of these milestones are part of Built for Zero, a national campaign to end veteran and chronic homelessness.

Information learned from previous counts has helped officials to develop more efficient resource programs to better serve the homeless.  For example, the community intake center helps connect people who are homeless to supportive housing resources based on their vulnerability instead of first come basis.

Forsyth County resource programs have been changed from accepting individuals on a first-come, first-serve basis to a need priority basis.

Press Release: Joel A. and Claudette B. Weston Memorial Award Seeks Nominations, Schedules Information Meeting on Feb. 1

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Joel A. and Claudette B. Weston Memorial Award is seeking nominations for its excellence in non-profit management honor, and the United Way of Forsyth County (UWFC) will conduct an information meeting 10 a.m. on Feb. 1, at Senior Services, 2895 Shorefair Drive, in Winston-Salem

All who are interested are invited to attend. UWFC who also manages the application review process will host the meeting.

Previously called the Joel A. Weston, Jr. Memorial Award, the bi-annual honor recognizes excellence in non-profit management at a local health, or human service organization. Organizations are judged on the quality of their financial and personnel management, services to clients, program effectiveness, marketing and other significant achievements. The recipient organization will receive up to $15,000 to support their mission.

Joel A. Weston was a senior executive at the Hanes Cos. and an active member of the Winston-Salem community. He served as president of the UWFC Board from 1980-1982 and was responsible for the introduction of many innovative programs, all designed to strengthen the Forsyth County community. Joel passed away in 1984.  In 1988 the award was established and endowed by his family and friends in recognition and honor of his vision and dedication to the Forsyth County community. Today, Joel’s widow, Claudette, continues the family tradition of community involvement and philanthropy through her involvement on numerous boards and organizations.

To RSVP for the meeting, contact Noelle Stevenson-Ndiaye at 721-9336 or email: by January 27.

United Way Supported Agency, Insight Human Services, Receives $20,000 Donation

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Quality Oil Company of Winston-Salem in partnership with Shell/Motiva Enterprises recently donated $20,000 to  Insight Human Services, Inc. a United Way of Forsyth County supported agency.

Insight Human Services, Inc., provides substance abuse and mental health services in 50 counties across North Carolina. The donation was funded directly through Motiva via mystery shop violations of various Shell dealers and stations across the country.

For consideration of fund allocation, Shell council members were asked to submit nominations for agencies connected with drug enforcement, drug abuse, and/or rehabilitation for addiction. Quality Oil’s submission was selected.

Representatives from both companies attended as Quality Oil Company president Graham Bennett presented the check to Bob Richardson, Peer Support Specialist, Insight Human Services (pictured below).

“We’re a member of each and every community we serve, and it’s important to us that we do what we can to support those in need,” said Graham Bennett, President of Quality Oil Company.

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Photo Caption:

From left to right: Jeffrey Rubin (Shell), Jeff Matkins (Insight Human Services), Ryland Tisdale (United Way), Bob Richardson (Insight Human Services), Steve Bradley (Shell), Graham Bennett (Quality Oil), and Tim Lowman (Quality Oil).

Press Release: United Way of Forsyth County Elects Four New Members to the Board of Directors

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Four new members have been elected to the United Way of Forsyth County’s Board of Directors.

Ollie Chandhok, Catrina Thompson, Betty Lou Vontsolos, have been appointed to serve three-years terms and LaDonna Wilson will serve a two-year term.

Chandhok has been market president and publisher of the Triad Business Journal since 2015.  Prior to that, he served in positions as regional audience director and sales executive positions at American City Business Journals, the parent of Triad Business Journal. Chandhok is a graduate of Queens University in Charlotte, NC.

Thompson is City of Winston-Salem assistant police chief and a 22-year-veteran of the Winston-Salem police department. She previously served as the commander of Criminal Investigations Division of the Investigative Services Bureau. Thompson received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Wayne State University in Detroit and a master’s degree in public administration from Appalachian State University. She also is a graduate of the West Point Leadership Academy.

Vontsolos is vice president of client services and operations at Inmar in Winston-Salem.  She serves as chair of United Way of Forsyth County’s Women’s Leadership Council, an initiative designed to educate, engage and empower women in across Forsyth County to make a difference.  Vontsolos earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Longwood University in Farmville, VA.

Wilson serves as financial analyst at Pepsico.  Prior to her current position, she served in roles as operations manager and marketing specialist at Pepsico.