Press Release: Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Announces $1.5 Million in Immediate, Flexible Funding to Respond to COVID-19 in North Carolina

For Immediate Release—March 24, 2020

For More Information—Nora Ferrell,, 336-705-3955


Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Announces $1.5 Million in Immediate, Flexible Funding to Respond to COVID-19 in North Carolina


$500,000 for Forsyth County Community Response Fund; $1 million for safety net health care providers around the state as crisis ramps up


WINSTON SALEM— The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Forsyth County’s largest private foundation and one of the largest in the state, today announced $1.5 million in immediate, flexible funding to respond to COVID-19 in Forsyth County and throughout North Carolina.


“It’s urgent that we help our most vulnerable residents and those living in marginalized communities, who are less likely to have access to quality health care and more likely to suffer long-term consequences such as loss of health or income from this widespread health crisis,” said Dr. Laura Gerald, president of the Trust. “We recognize the unique position the Trust is in to be flexible and innovative as we work to support communities and residents in Forsyth County and across North Carolina during the COVID-19 crisis.”


Working closely with its trustee, Wells Fargo, the Trust released $1.5 million in grant funding immediately to help North Carolina residents and communities.


“As health funders it was important to respond quickly and get flexible funding out, as many of our grantees and partners are on the frontlines of this pandemic,” said Dr. Gerald. “We know this is not enough—far more state and federal resources are needed—but we also know our healthcare systems and local nonprofits need flexible funding now and can’t afford to wait. That’s why we acted quickly and released immediate grant dollars to organizations battling COVID-19.”


Forsyth County

The Trust granted $500,000 to the COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County established by The Winston-Salem Foundation, the city of Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, United Way of Forsyth County, and Community Organizations Active in Disaster.


The fund will provide flexible resources for immediate, emerging, and long-term needs to organizations working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak. The fund is designed to complement the work of government and public health officials to address all aspects of the outbreak in Forsyth County.

Initial funding will benefit disproportionately impacted individuals and families including:

  • Residents without health insurance and/or access to paid sick leave
  • Individuals experiencing homelessness
  • Healthcare workers
  • Hospitality and service industry workers
  • Unauthorized immigrant populations
  • Communities of color, and in particular, residents with limited English language proficiency

With the Trust’s investment, the COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County has now raised more than $2 million and will continue accepting donations of all sizes. An application process for organizations to request funds will be available by March 27. Visit to learn more.


North Carolina

The Trust granted $1 million to the North Carolina Healthcare Association Foundation (NCHA) in response to the COVID-19 crisis. NCHA is a membership organization of hospitals, health systems, and clinics and is taking a lead role in responding to COVID-19 while helping other safety net providers stay abreast of developments at the state and national levels.


Hospitals and associated clinics, free clinics, and health centers regularly see Medicaid, Medicare, and uninsured patients. Shoring up these organizations during this crisis is a vital component in the overall strategy to mitigate and limit the effects of the virus. This grant is for flexible support to help fill gaps where state and federal funds fall short.


Of the $1 million in funding, NCHA will receive $500,000 for hospitals, $250,000 for the North Carolina Free and Charitable Clinics, and $250,000 for the North Carolina Community Health Center Association. These funds may be used for a variety of needs, including, but not limited to medical supplies, personal protective equipment, testing kits, and telehealth solutions.


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The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust

Our mission is to improve the health and quality of life of people with low incomes in Forsyth County and around the state, as Mrs. Reynolds stated when she established the Trust. We believe in thriving North Carolina communities and thriving residents, equitable access to health care, and equitable health outcomes.



On Twitter: @katebreynolds

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Press Release: CANCELED United Way of Forsyth County Announces Speaker Series in Conjunction With LEAD Girls of NC


Winston Salem, NC- Today, the United Way of Forsyth County Announced their new Speakers Series: “Women Empowering Girls” 

In celebration of Women’s History Month, United Way of Forsyth County and LEAD Girls of NC, will host sessions on the importance of leadership, determination, and effective communication in building a strong career path. Forsyth County middle school girls will have the opportunity be inspired by empowered women in the Forsyth County business community.

Iffat Maqsood, United Way of Forsyth County Volunteer and Events Manager notes, “We are very excited to be collaborating with LEAD Girls NC on this initiative. Their mission of equipping girls to make thoughtful choices about their lives so that they can become independent, capable and secure women is the cornerstone of success”.

Joy Thomas, Founder and Executive Director of LEAD Girls of NC notes “Marian Wright Edelman said, “You can’t be what you can’t see. As the Founder and Executive Director of LEAD Girls of NC Inc., I have always believed that empowered women have the position and power to inspire girls, the next generation of women leaders. If we pull our resources together we can truly make an impact in our community. I’m  thankful for our partners United Way Of Forsyth County and Novant Health for sharing this vision and supporting this day for girls. ”

List of Speakers with dates and locations:


Amber K. Brooks, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health

Andrea Kurtz, Senior Director, Housing Strategies at United Way of Forsyth County

Friday, March 13, 2020 from 8 am – 9 am at Mineral Springs Middle School. 

Ashleigh Hargrave, Corporate Director at Novant Health

Saturday March 14, 2020 from Noon – 1 pm at Lead Girl’s office – Community Lead. 

Kelly Sutton, Marketing Manager & Young Leaders United Chair at Hanesbrands Inc.

Debbie Wilson, Chief Impact Officer at United Way of Forsyth County


Friday, March 20, 2020 from 8 am – 9 am  at Wiley Magnet Middle School. 

Gwen Burston, Director of Human Resources & Public Relations at Housing Authority of Winston-Sale

Porsche Jones, Wellness Partner and Health Coach, Novant Health & CEO, Bonds Events Basketball & JMAC Hauling, Inc.

Nora Toncel, Health Community Engagement at Novant Health

Wednesday, March 25, 2020  from Noon – 1 pm at Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy.

Press Release: Leaders Engaged In Accelerated Development (LEAD) Program Welcomes 86 New Members

Today, United Way Way Wordwide announced the 86 new members of United Way’s leadership development program called Leaders Engaged in Accelerated Development (LEAD). These members were nominated by their United Way leader (Board Chair, CEO, C-Suite, or Vice President) to join this prestigious program. The nominations were reviewed by members of the selection committee, which consists of current members of LEAD. After reviewing the large number of nominations received this year, the selection committee chose these 86 United Way staff members to join LEAD for the 2019-2020 program.

These new LEADers will have the exclusive opportunity to network with other high-potential and high-performing United Way colleagues and participate in various digitally-based development sessions this year. Upcoming sessions include a meeting facilitation training with Lucid Meetings, understanding how leaders can build a culture of engagement in the workplace, emotional intelligence, a public speaking workshop, “Candid Conversations” with United Way leaders, “Perspectives on Leadership” from business leaders, and so much more.

LEAD is open to United Way staff members who demonstrate core competencies, are high-performers, and have high-potential to grow in the network. The 86 members from this year’s cohort are from across the worldwide network and work in operations, resource development, marketing communications, and community impact.

United Way of Forsyth County, Chief Marketing Officer Kim Thore has been selected to join the program.

Click here to review the list of new 2019 LEAD members.


The Leaders Engaged in Accelerated Development (LEAD) program is United Way’s exclusive engagement and professional development platform designed for high-performing and high-potential individuals who are committed to building their career within United Way.

Through LEAD, United Way aims to build and prepare future United Way leaders by identifying and engaging our network’s high-performer and high-potential employees. The United Way LEAD program offers year-round exclusive learning, development, and networking opportunities. Members receive valuable leadership skills that they can implement within their United Way and within the broader Network.

Membership to LEAD is exclusive to high-potential and high-performing United Way colleagues who want to grow their career within the United Way Network. LEADers are passionate about advancing the mission of United Way. They are focused on growth for themselves to better serve their teams and the broader Network. They must be nominated by their VP, C-suite or CEO leader.

Press Release: United Way of Forsyth County Chief Marketing Officer Kim Thore Selected to Join Leadercast Women As an Influencer October 18, 2019

Leadercast Women is a one-day leadership development event simulcast LIVE from Atlanta to hundreds of locations throughout the world, including the North Carolina Piedmont.  Men and women alike will be emboldened to take courage in their daily lives, whether it be in the workplace or at home. At this one-day leadership event, nine leading women will share their inspirational stories of courage while also teaching everyone steps to enable change in their lives. This year’s focus is Courage: Courage is not the absence of fear; courage is acting in spite of fear. When we consider courage, firefighters, policemen, pilots and military personnel come to mind but courage isn’t reserved for a select group of leaders. Opportunities to take courage rise every day in many forms, and it’s up to us to seize those moments in our leadership.

On Friday, October 18th the Lewisville Chamber of Commerce will be a host site for Leadercast Women 2019. This leadership conference will be simulcast live around the globe and Lewisville Clemmons is the only host site between Virginia and Georgia. The Leadercast Women experience is only available at the host sites or live in Atlanta. Attendees will be emboldened to take courage in their daily lives, whether it be in the workplace or at home.

As an influential leader and role model in the Winston Salem/Forsyth County Community and an influencer in the state, Ms. Thore was selected by the chamber committee due to her dedication to the advancement of women in the nonprofit industry. Thore will lead an hour-long round table discussion at Leadercast Women Lewisville-Clemmons. Topics of discussion will stem from talks given during the morning sessions.

Thore notes, “I am very honored to be a part of such an exciting and thought-provoking event. As a leader with an organization like the United Way, which embraces courage in making our community a better place, I look forward to sharing ideas with other like-minded women. Most importantly, I am excited to learn from other leaders in our community.”

About Leadercast: Leadercast is dedicated to building leaders others will follow by providing solutions, events and resources for individuals, teams, organizations and corporations across all industries.

Kim Thore Bio:

Kim Thore is the Chief Marketing Officer of the United Way of Forsyth County. She has been a marketing professional, communications strategist and process improvement expert for over 20 years and is a certified Executive Marketer with the American Marketing Association. Thore previously held positions as  vice president with Bank of America, Greensboro College and Wake Forest University and served as CEO/Owner of FRESH Productions and Marketing, a local marketing and public relations firm. She is certified in ISO-9000, Six Sigma and CPI. She is also an artist and consultant and teaches at the Sawtooth Center for Visual Design.


United Way of Forsyth County brings the community and its resources together to solve problems that no one organization can address alone. United Way of Forsyth County also funds and supports  key initiatives in our community including NC211, Housing Matters (formerly the Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness), The Forsyth Promise, The Partnership for Prosperity, and Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods. Through United Way of Forsyth County’s support and aligning of resources, these programs, the agencies, and their collaborating partners are all working to create a Stable, Educated, Healthy, and Economically Mobile Forsyth County.

What Summer Slide Actually Means for Alison

Meet Alison!

Alison, a second grader in Forsyth County, has spent her school year working on literacy skills. She is finally reading on grade level alongside her classmates!

However, students, like Alison, lose an average of one grade level in math and reading over the summer without academic practice. Unfortunately, even though Alison’s mom works hard to provide for her family, she cannot afford to send Alison to summer tutoring.

Thankfully, United Way provides resources for summer educational programs to ensure students like Alison have access to quality summer enrichment programs so that they don’t fall behind in school.

Our goal is to raise $300,000 by May 31st to ensure these programs are fully funded this summer.

Click here to help change Alison’s life and the lives of other students like her.


Surviving Cancer and Life’s Challenges- Betty’s Story

As a widow and living alone, Betty didn’t have any support in place when she was diagnosed with Stage II cancer in August of 2017 at the age of 60.
She underwent chemotherapy and radiation. Unfortunately, because of her diagnosis she had to stop work as a custodial worker and she was without income during her treatment , as well as becoming uninsured. Family support was very limited. Our United Way funded partner Cancer Services, Inc. was been able to assist her with the cost of her medications, nutrition, purchasing medical supplies and providing transportation to her treatments.
Due to her having no income, the United Way of Forsyth County was able to assist her in finding outside resources to help her with rent and utilities while she was applying for Social Security benefits, which meant she was able to remain in her home.
This transitional support allowed Betty to focus on her treatment and create a more manageable life while being out of work and not worrying about bankruptcy and greater debt.
For cancer patients, psychological stress adds to the burden imposed by the disease and the sometimes difficult aspects of treatment; United Way was able, with your support, to remove those barriers so Betty could focus on bating her cancer.

Surviving Domestic Violence with the Help of United Way Funded Partners

“Sonia” entered the Family Services Women’s Shelter with her 12 year old son and 9 year old daughter after fleeing from her husband and what she described as a verbally, emotionally, sexually, and physically abusive marriage. He had a substance abuse problem which made his mood swings and reactions unpredictable. She had been coping with a variety of controlling and threatening behaviors and was fearful that he would find her. Each of her children had witnessed domestic violence and she was concerned about their reactions to these traumas. Sonia was 44 years old, completed two years of college, however was depressed, fearful, and close to giving up on her future.
How the United Way Helped:
Sonia and her children received information on Family Services, Inc. Intimate Partner Abuse program funded by United Way. While residing at the Shelter, Sonia was actively involved in counseling and supportive services. She stayed for just over 90 days, increasing her knowledge on domestic violence and safety planning for herself and her children. She was able to identify her vocational, employment, and financial goals. Sonia was determined to provide for her children and herself. She located summer activities and involved her son in football and her daughter in cheer leading.
The impact?
Sonia also entered the Rapid Re-Housing Program and acquired a stable home environment for her family. The Rapid Re-Housing program educated Sonia on how to be a good tenant, how to maintain housing, and provided temporary financial assistance. Since her transition from the shelter, Sonia was able to receive Tenant-Based Rental Assistance through the Housing Authority of Winston Salem and accessed full time employment as a certified nursing assistant at a local assisted living facility. Sonia now embraces a look of confidence and feels she is more knowledgeable about what a healthy relationship looks like.
Our hope is that because of continued support from the community, families like Sonia’s can imagine brighter futures which can then become a reality. Through the collaboration of the United Way, Family Services and the Rapid Rehousing, Sonia’s is living a safe and healthy life.

Women’s Leadership Council Annual Celebration Recognizes Local Volunteers , Students and Educators

November 2, 2018 For Immediate Release
The United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council of Forsyth County held their annual celebration and awards banquet at the Millennium Center, November 1, 2018
Founded in 2007, to date they have recruited over 1,000 members and raised over $5.5 million to support United Way’s effort to increase the graduation rate in Forsyth County to 90%. Focusing their attention on middle schools, their goal is to prepare students to be successful and hit the ground running as they begin 9th grade.
This year’s celebration recognized Lucy Williams, Reynolds American as the Outstanding Volunteer. This award recognizes an outstanding individual who has given their time and talent as a leader and volunteer.  The 2018 Corporate Award, which recognized the largest number of new WLC members in the 2018 campaign year, was awarded to BB&T. The Outstanding Educator Award which recognizes an educator’s passion and dedication for educating successful youth ready to enter the world of today, was awarded to Jason Pender, Mineral Springs Middle School. The Outstanding Youth Award, which recognized a student for their growth and persistence to learn while overcoming challenges, was awarded to DaChaari Obey, Philo-Hill Magnet Academy. The 7th Annual Susan Cameron award, which honors a woman who empowers other women in the community, was awarded to Betty Lou Vontsolos, of Inmar, for her leadership and her passion for growing the impact WLC has on our community  .
United Way President and CEO, Cindy Gordineer notes, “This was a great opportunity not only to celebrate the contributions our WLC has made to the community, but to honor outstanding students, educators, volunteers, and corporations. The Women’s Leadership Council works to educate women about our community’s most pressing needs, engage women as philanthropic leaders,  and most importantly, empower women to be a part of positive change in our community”.
For more information about the Women’s Leadership Council please visit:

Supporting Moms with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

According to the beautiful images on Instagram and Facebook, a plump new baby and a well-rested, smiling mother enjoying every minute of motherhood is the norm in the early days after giving birth.  But real life does not always play out like it does in curated posts and choreographed photos. Every new mother I know is familiar with the roller coaster that accompanies the first few weeks and months after welcoming a new baby. For many, the days just after giving birth are marked by restless nights in the hospital, an uncomfortable recovery from labor, the learning curve of how to care for a newborn – all while attempting to catch up on sleep.

For some mothers, that’s not where the stress and anxiety ends. Some new moms are grappling with their newborn’s health issues. Some mothers could be jobless, homeless or plagued with an addiction, while others deal with a partner who is deployed or not in the picture. Some new moms are teenagers and may have a minimal support system in place. With all of those factors in play, in addition to recalibrating post-pregnancy hormones, it is no wonder that many mothers feel overwhelmed.

The American Psychological Association says postpartum depression afflicts approximately one out of seven new mothers and can start anytime after giving birth, from a few weeks to a year. With almost four million births reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2016, that means over half a million new mothers are suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety in the U.S. alone. Symptoms and severity range from mood swings, to difficulty sleeping, to feeling overwhelmed to the more serious thoughts of hopelessness or self-harm. A full list of symptoms can be found here. What all new mothers and those around her need to know is that help and support is available to them.

United Way believes that children deserve a strong start in life and that having a healthy mother or caregiver is the first step in that direction. If you or someone you know is a new parent (mother or father) and experiencing any symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety, reach out for help. Talk to your partner, doctor, pediatrician, other moms, friends or relatives about what you’re going through. You can also call 2-1-1 for immediate assistance.

This Mother’s Day, let’s ensure every mother gets the support and care she needs to be the strongest advocate she can for her new child.

Dream Maker: Barbara Duck

“Through the United Way, I discovered a passion I never knew existed.”

Barbara Duck is a mom, mentor, and bank executive. Admittedly, Barbara was really only active in community service through her church prior to moving to Winston-Salem for her role at BB&T. But this relocation is where she found her passion for moving the community needle.

She discovered the United Way Women’s Leadership Council, which allowed her to become more involved in the bank and the community. It is here she learned the power of women connecting with other women, and how those relationships have led to community-changing philanthropy in Forsyth County. “The giving decisions of these women have changed educational outcomes in our community, and individuals are impacted by the collective work of women,” Barbara remarked.

Barbara’s newfound passion in the Women’s Leadership Council inspired her to create. She has committed time and resources to developing the Women’s Information Network at BB&T, also known as W.I.N., which focuses on ways to provide women with resources. With 70% of BB&T’s workforce being female, this gives them access to tools to help manage their careers and find mentors.

Today, we celebrate Barbara Duck as a DREAM MAKER. For leading innovative and systemic change in our Forsyth County!