Press Release: United Way Worldwide Statement on Access to Equity and Justice

United Way believes that every person is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect – this includes equal treatment and access to justice. Recent events involving violence and threats against African Americans expose our society’s underlying racism, prejudice and privilege that prevent too many people from being treated with the humanity and respect they deserve. These incidents are abhorrent and run counter to everything that United Way, its volunteers and professionals value, live and fight for every day.

All people of all backgrounds and identities must call out discrimination and demand its removal from our society; otherwise, we are endorsing the status quo and are complicit in the abuses that follow.

We must all do our part, working United, to make our communities the places that we need them to be – equitable, respectful and opportunity-filled. We, as a society, can and must do better to guarantee that the basic human rights and freedoms of every person in every community are protected.

MEDIA CONTACT

PR@unitedway.org

These Three Things: From the Desk of President and CEO Cindy Gordineer

Dear United Way Friends,
As always, I hope this continues to find you and yours safe and healthy.As I shared last week, the work of recovery is starting to be upon us. Conversations are underway with our partner agencies, community leaders, the school system, and others with the goal to assess what actions will need to be taken in Forsyth County to work our way back from detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The information to work through and share with you now isn’t as dramatic, but it is certainly as important.
1. Looking at the Crisis Through Different Lenses This pandemic has affected the entire world, but each of us is experiencing this crisis through our own specific lens. Some people aren’t as deeply affected as others and may think that life in our community will get “back to normal” any day now once the stay-at-home order is lifted, or antibody tests are available, or some other defined point is crossed. Others, who may have lost their jobs, can’t pay their bills, have fallen behind in educational pursuits, or have been physically affected by the virus may be picking up the pieces of their lives for years to come.Think of it this way – if a house is flooded, it might look fine on the outside, but on the inside there’s a lot of work to be done: water must be removed, sheet rock cut out, mold treated, ensuring everything is dry, and only then can rebuilding start. Similarly, things may look like they are improving in our community as we enter Phase 1 of NC’s COVID-19 plan to reopen.
However, once the moratorium on evictions is lifted, there will be people who suffer. Once the period of time expires for people receiving unemployment benefits, there will be people who struggle. Where support was given during this crisis and is subsequently removed, members of our community may slide back into a more vulnerable state. Our role at United Way during this process is to repeatedly take the pulse of the community and respond to what the issues are at that point of time. This is a continual process. As we move forward, we will employ a methodology to frequently assess the needs in our community and, with our partners, will remain nimble in our ability to pivot and address the new needs that arise.
2. The Work Doesn’t Stop: The Salvation Army As I’ve highlighted previously, our partner agencies continue to deliver vital services to our community during this pandemic. Throughout the response to COVID-19, The Salvation Army has remained open and serving the community with shelter, food, child care, emergency assistance, and emotional and spiritual care. All of their staff is considered “essential” and reports to their designated facility each workday. No staff members are working remotely. Although this may sound like “business as usual”, they have creatively adapted their programs in light of the pandemic. For instance:· Center of Hope, their homeless shelter for families, operates 24/7 and is adapting to the COVID-19 guidelines. Normally parents would be at work during the week and children in school or child care programs. Families are now strongly encouraged to shelter in place and schoolwork is done online. Two shelter rooms have been set up as isolation suites in the event of a COVID-19 infection or active illness. The shelter continues to offer a daily community breakfast and Sunday dinner which has transitioned to a nutritious, pre-prepared meal distributed in “to go” containers. Expenses have escalated because of an increase in staff, food, utilities, and cleaning and medical supplies.· Their food pantries have transitioned from client choice to food box distribution in the interests of the health and safety of clients and staff in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines. Distribution includes social distancing guidelines and masked staff. They are also including educational materials, hygiene products, and other donated items, as available.·
The Boys & Girls Club staff has continued to serve their entire roster of club members. Club youth who are at home receive regular virtual contact from staff members. Services including online tutoring, homework help, and virtual emotional support provide the opportunity to focus on education, friendship, and emotional heath. Every club youth with a birthday during this time receives a virtual “birthday party”. Emotional and spiritual care are also offered to parents, grandparents, and guardians of the children.·
The Senior CiVIC Center has remained open but stay-at-home guidelines and restrictions are preventing seniors from attending. However, seniors are checked on daily, and each week, food boxes are delivered to seniors’ homes as well as recommended safety and mental health guidelines, hygiene products, and other requested items.We thank The Salvation Army, and all our partner agencies, for their determination, flexibility, and creativity. Our community is stronger because of the important work they are doing every day. I want to remind you that if you’re a United Way donor, you’ve made this possible, so thank you!
3. Your Response – Thank You! Thanks to everyone who took our quick survey on your thoughts of what top issues our community will need to address. I think it’s important to point out that in your responses, 60% think employment, income, and financial assistance will be one of the highest priorities for our community. Housing & Shelter and Food Insecurity were then tied for the secondary issues you believed needed to be addressed. This information is quite useful as we transition to the recovery phase of this crisis. As we continue to work our way through each day of this pandemic together, we will continue to ask for your insight and look forward to your feedback.We also continue to monitor data from 2-1-1 to know what the most requested needs are in our community. As a portal for all types of community resources, it provides a critical perspective in real-time about what families are struggling with. If someone you know is in need of help, please encourage them to call 2-1-1 or go to NC211.org.So then, onward we move – together, as a community. Thank you for your continued support of our community – and thank you for Living United!
Sincerely yours,
Cindy Gordineer
President and CEO, United Way of Forsyth County

Op Ed: Cindy Gordineer and Scott Wierman: It’s time to help our neighbors

United Way of Forsyth County President and CEO Cindy Gordineer and Winston Salem Foundation President Scott Wierman share their view.

The world is facing unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the long-term global financial and health implications are vast. As this outbreak has steadily moved in our direction, you may wonder how some of our neighbors are faring locally. Read more here: https://www.journalnow.com/opinion/columnists/cindy-gordineer-and-scott-wierman-its-time-to-help-our-neighbors/article_68102984-90ba-5d74-839e-cbb8594e801c.html

Press Release: COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County Awards First Grants: over $1 Million to 15 Local Nonprofits to Help Community Members

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 6, 2020 – Winston–Salem, NC

COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County Awards First Grants: over $1 Million to 15 Local Nonprofits to Help Community Members

A total of $1,062,000 has been awarded to 15 local nonprofits in the first announcement of grants awarded from the COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County. These awards will ensure rapid funding for nonprofit organizations meeting basic needs for community members impacted by the pandemic, including food, shelter, housing, and emergency financial assistance.  Additional grants will be announced as they are made.

Grants announced today from the COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth are:

  • Bethesda Center for the Homeless – $100,000 to provide critical shelter services for homeless population and emergency financial support for housed individuals and families to pay for rent, utilities, and food
  • Cancer Services, Inc. – $50,000 to provide increased funding for direct financial assistance for clients
  • Crisis Control Ministry Inc. – $100,000 to provide essential needs for an increase in struggling community members needing assistance with rent and mortgage payments, client services food pantries, and a free licensed pharmacy
  • Eliza’s Helping Hands, Inc. – $20,000 to assist undocumented, low-income, and low wage income residents with rent, utilities, counseling services, transportation, and food and clothing
  • H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem, Inc. – $16,000 to provide nutritious meals to children at risk of hunger to accommodate additional weekday meals in addition to weekend deliveries since local children are now out of school
  • Imprints Cares – $100,000 to offset tuition costs for essential personnel who meet income guidelines and need emergency childcare during the health crisis
  • Legal Aid of North Carolina – $100,000 to keep tenants in housing by providing support and attorney representation for mediation with hotel/motel landlords to resolve payment agreements and use funding to pay all or part of the monetary settlement agreed upon in mediation
  • Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods – $20,000 to increase the capabilities of neighborhood groups and individuals in Forsyth County with high-tech engagement to connect community members with aid resources through social media, phone conferences, video conferencing, and deliveries
  • Samaritan Ministries – $91,000 to support higher risk guests and increased demand for emergency shelter for homeless men and daily lunches through its community Soup Kitchen
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, Inc. – $100,000 to support expansion of its reach and implement new approaches for food assistance in response to the COVID-19 crisis
  • The Salvation Army – $100,000 to support increased needs for two food pantries, food delivery to seniors and to those with limited transportation, Center of Hope Family Shelter, and emergency financial assistance to clients impacted by the crisis
  • Union Baptist Church Urban Ministries – $50,000 to provide increased requests for food, clothing, and other essential resource needs for low-income single parents, seniors, and the homeless
  • Whole Man Ministries of NC – $40,000 to support economically disadvantaged individuals and families with rent, utilities, essential household items, transportation, mental health support, internet, and connections to aid
  • Winston Salem Rescue Mission – $100,000 to support the residential program for men receiving housing, recovery services, food, transportation, and pharmaceutical supplies
  • YWCA of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County – $75,000 for programming at the Best Choice Center and Hawley House, supporting expanded educational and food programs for children, residential substance abuse recovery, and health management

United Way of Forsyth County President and CEO Cindy Gordineer notes, “Priority in this grantmaking has been given to nonprofits addressing the basic needs of community members – for rent assistance, food needs, help paying for regular medication, as well as to support those who provide medical services and support. We are fortunate to have such a strong community of nonprofits able to move quickly to provide these critical services to those most impacted.”

Since the Fund was announced less than three weeks ago, more than $3.3 million has been committed to the fund from corporations, groups, individuals, and local government.

“Thanks to the generosity of all who have given so far, we are distributing over $1 million to organizations that are directly assisting individuals in need,” said Scott Wierman, president of The Winston-Salem Foundation. “However, this is just the beginning, and what we’ve raised will not be nearly enough. It’s critical that we continue to grow the response fund to address the immense community needs that we’re only beginning to see.”

Grant applications to the Fund are currently being received on a rolling basis, and funding decisions will be made within two weeks of application. Future funding phases will be developed by evaluating the funds available, community needs, and government response.

 

About the COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County

 

United Way of Forsyth County and The Winston-Salem Foundation launched the  COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County on March 18 to support a range of nonprofit organizations assisting members of the community during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly those most vulnerable. United Way of Forsyth County and The Winston-Salem Foundation are administering the Fund, charging no administrative fees.

Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis and grant decisions made by representatives : Deborah T. Wilson – United Way of Forsyth County, Nora D. Ferrell and Jason W. Baisden – Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Peggy S. Reingold -Wells Fargo, Mamie Sutphin – Reynolds American, Inc., Cheryl Lindsay – HanesBrands, Brent A. Waddell – BB&T now Truist, Reginald McCaskill – Ministers Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity, Sandra Fishel-Booth -Winston-Salem Foundation

To contribute to the COVID-19 Response Fund, visit www.covid19forsyth.org  or text COVID19Forsyth to 71777 (msg and data rates may apply).

Corporations and foundations: to donate by check or ACH, contact Meridith Whitaker, Director of Philanthropic Services at The Winston-Salem Foundation, at (336) 604-5032 or mwhitaker@wsfoundation.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper Orders Residents to Stay at Home Order Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued a stay-at-home order Friday and closed the state’s nonessential businesses in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The order goes into effect 5:00 pm Monday, but Cooper urged residents to begin staying at home immediately.

“It’s what we have to do to save lives,” he said at a press briefing Friday.

Residents will still be able to leave for essential reasons, including to get food or medicine, according to Cooper. People will also be able to leave their homes for outdoor exercise or to help others.

North Carolina has 763 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and has had three deaths from the virus, according to data compiled by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.

More info here .

Photo credit: Governor Roy Cooper, D-NC address the crowd during the Rally for Respect outside the North Carolina Legislative Building on May 16, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Sara D. Davis | Getty Images

 

Ask Congress to Support Charitable Organizations Through the Coronavirus Pandemic

Charities are on the front-line of the response to the coronavirus and its economic fallout.

Right now, Congress is preparing a trillion dollar economic relief package.  We are calling on Congress to include $60 billion to help charities keep their doors open and to continue to provide help in communities. Join us.

There will be a surge of need as hundreds of thousands of individuals lose work and can’t pay their bills.  At the same time, we expect significant drops in giving and program revenue.

American charities will play a crucial role in recovery from this crisis and we need Congress to support our efforts.

E-mail now and ask Congress to support charitable organizations through the coronavirus pandemic. We need a few pieces of information to connect you with your lawmakers. Fill out the form here to be connected and send an e-mail. Personalized messages are especially effective. We encourage you to edit the message to add how nonprofits in your community are responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

Virtual Ways You Can Volunteer

Volunteering online lets you donate your virtual time to a cause space that matters, which means you can make a difference even if you can’t go physically volunteer somewhere. Click here for opportunities that allow you to volunteer remotely.

 

Coping With Stress During Covid-19

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Click here for information from the World Health Organization or here for information from the CDC.

 

 

COVID–19 and How You Can Help With Immediate Needs in the Community

Due to the closing of many schools and workplaces, our community is experiencing difficulty and there is an increased need for resources.

As many of you are reaching out to us and asking, “How Can I Help?”, below are some of the requests we have received.

Important Note

Please follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) protocols:

  • Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds
  • Cover your mouth with tissues or into your sleeve whenever you cough or sneeze, and discard used tissues in the trash
  • Avoid people who are sick with respiratory symptoms
  • Clean frequently touched services
  • Provide and use alcohol-based sanitation and cleaning supplies
  • Consider wearing gloves and minimizing touching people and shared surfaces
  • Avoid touching your face

It is critical that you self-quarantine if you are experiencing any respiratory symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath. If you have been sick but are feeling better, stay home for at least an additional 48 hours after your fever has gone away (without the use of any fever-reducing medications).  If you have been exposed to someone with coronavirus or someone who exhibits these symptoms, please socially distance yourself until you have been tested.

Below are some urgent and immediate needs in our community:

Food Donation

HOPE of Winston-Salem

Immediate Needs:

  • Sliced Bread and
  • Bottled Water

Drop Off Location: 355 NW Crawford Place – Winston-Salem, NC 27105

Drop Off Days/Times: Wednesday – Friday 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. , Saturday 9 a.m. – Noon

For Further Information Contact: info@hopews.org

Education

WS/FCS 

Immediate Needs:

  • School Supplies
  • Bottled Water

Drop Off Location: 4307 Idlewild Industrial Drive, Winston-Salem, NC

Drop Off Days/Times: Weekdays 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For Additional Information Go Here

Health

The American Red Cross is facing a SEVERE BLOOD SHORTAGE, due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations in response to the coronavirus outbreak.  The American Red Cross strongly urges healthy individuals to give blood or platelets to help patients in need. If you are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give blood or platelets you can make and appointment to donate.

Immediate Need: Blood or Platelets

To make an appointment to donate: Use Red Cross Blood Donor App or visiting RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

_____________________________________________________________________________

The Community Health Alliance – Mobile Health Clinic: ( They partner with The Salvation Army Center of Hope ) and are in need of:

  • Hand Sanitizer & Hand Soap
  • Disinfectant
  • Dial anti-bacterial soap
  • Lysol
  • Kleenex and
  • Wipes
  • Non-latex Gloves

Drop Off Location: The Salvation Army, Center of Hope, 1255 Trade St NW, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Drop Off Days/Times: Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Note: You can drop it off at the left door to the facility or  you can also order online and have the items delivered to the above address.

The Bethesda Center for the Homeless:

Urgent needs:

  • Cans of Lysol
  • Disinfecting Wipes
  • Toilet Paper
  • Ziploc Bags (Sandwich & Quart)
  • Disposable Razors
  • Liquid Hand Soap
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • 39 gl Trash Bags
  • Ready to Eat Meals (Mac-n Cheese, Vienna Sausages, etc.)
  • Wash Cloths/Towels
  • Cases of Water

Due to limited space, they are not accepting clothing.

Drop off donations, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information, please contact Nate Hoots at (336) 722-9951 ext. 1425″

City with Dwellings:

Volunteers are needed to stay overnight, assist with check-in, and assist at the shelter as those staying prepare overnight.

Check Here for Volunteer Needs: https://www.citywithdwellings.org/volunteer

The Community Health Alliance – Mobile Health Clinic

They partner with The Salvation Army Center of Hope and are in need of:

  • Hand Sanitizer & Hand Soap
  • Disinfectant
  • Non-latex Gloves

How to help:

  1. Order on Amazon and Deliver to: Salvation Army, Center of Hope, 1255 Trade St NW, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
  2. Drop off Supplies at: Salvation Army, Center of Hope, 1255 Trade St NW, Winston-Salem, NC 27101″

Samaritan Ministries

Samaritan Ministries in need of some additional supplies, which can be ordered and delivered directly to Samaritan through their Amazon wish list. You may also deliver via their back donation door–please see their website for a list of most-needed items and drop-off hours.

They are also in need of additional volunteers to help with their to-go soup kitchen and overnight guest operations, as some regular volunteers who are at higher risk for COVID-19 complications are unable to help for the foreseeable future. If you are interested in volunteering and feel comfortable doing so, you can visit this link for their volunteer registration portal.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC:

Their Volunteer Center is open and you can sign up here. However, as per our year-round policy, if you are not feeling well, please wait until you are better to volunteer with us.

We’ll be posting updates here. Meanwhile, if you are able, please support our Virtual Food Drive and, if you need food assistance, please use our Agency Finder Tool.”

Senior Services:

The the best way to help would be to collect shelf stable items, like canned meats and such. Please drop off your donations in the big red box located in the Meals-on-Wheels pick-up room (2895 Shorefair Drive).

The list we have for our food drive now includes:

  • Tuna fish
  • Vienna sausage
  • Chef Boyardee
  • Soup
  • Green beans
  • Corn
  • Pork and beans
  • Peanut butter

That is a great way to provide food for seniors in the event we are not able to deliver every day. They also need grocery bags and old ice packs.

The Shalom Project:

They need assistance with food pickups and organization of the food pantry. Those tasks would be done on Mondays/Wednesdays/ or Fridays and can be flexible on time frame. If you are interested in volunteering please contact communityoutreach.shalomproject@gmail.com

 

Other Ways You Can Help

We may feel helpless in these difficult times – but every small thing each of us can do will make a difference.

There are virtual volunteer opportunities that help organizations and that you can do without leaving your home. Click here for more info.

The health of all residents is of utmost concern to us, and the social distancing measures being taken are imperative to “flatten the curve.” At the same time, Forsyth County’s businesses, restaurants, bars – and their employees – are being severely impacted. Local nonprofit organizations are doing all they can to meet increased demands with fewer staff and volunteers. Our amazing healthcare providers are working tirelessly to treat and protect us.

Please buy gift certificates from local businesses. Shop at their online stores. Order takeout and delivery (doing so while social distancing). Buy merchandise from a local musician or artist. It all adds up and can save jobs and keep businesses open.

 

Press Release: NC 2-1-1 to Provide Assistance for COVID-

March 18, 2020- For Immediate Release: NC 2-1-1 to Provide Assistance for COVID-19

 

Winston Salem, NC: Governor Roy Cooper has announced that 2-1-1 is the number to call for assistance and resources related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.   NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service, operated by United Way of North Carolina, where families and individuals can obtain free and confidential information on health and human service resources within their community 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Resources are available in most languages

 

United Way Forsyth County President and CEO, Cindy Gordineer notes, “We are proud to provide funding and support to bring 2-1-1 resources to Forsyth County. NC 2-1-1 is an important resource every day for families in our community who may experience a crisis such as food insecurity or unemployment.  During times like this with the COVID 19 crisis, the needs of all North Carolinians will increase and I am proud 2-1-1 will be here to help.”

 

“Services like NC 2-1-1 are critical during times of emergency,” said Governor Cooper. “We need to make sure North Carolinians have access to the resources they need while we continue to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

 

North Carolinians can text COVIDNC to 898211 to receive general information and updates about COVID-19.   Sign up now to get regular alerts on the rapidly evolving situation and North Carolina’s response.  Individuals who have specific needs related to food, shelter, energy assistance, housing, parenting resources, health care, substance abuse treatment, as well as specific resources for older adults and for persons with disabilities, and much more should dial 2-1-1 or TTY 888-892-1162 for assistance.  Due to expected high call volume, those wanting to stay updated on general developments with North Carolina’s response to the coronavirus crisis should sign up for 211’s text alerts by texting COVIDNC to 898211.

 

NC 2-1-1 cannot provide direct medical services, and COVID-19 can only be diagnosed by a health care professional.  If you suspect you or someone you care for may have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus, you should contact your health care provider. If you do not have a provider, you can call your local health department or a Federally Qualified Health Clinic for guidance.

 

To learn more about NC 2-1-1, visit nc211.org. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in North Carolina, go to ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.