Community Members Donate 600+ Basic Needs Kit to Benefit Local Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

United Way Young Leader’s Basic Needs Kits Surpasses Goal, Makes a Difference

When United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Young Leaders affinity group cabinet learned that every night in Greensboro more than 900 people go to sleep homeless, they sprang into action. United, they organized a new volunteer opportunity and invited the entire community to participate in hosting their own Basic Needs Kits drives.

Basic needs kits— with a variety of items like soap and sunscreen included in each kit—were a simple way to provide practical help to individuals experiencing homelessness. 

With community support, the drive resulted in almost 650 kits being collected! 

“Young Leaders set a goal of collecting 100 kits, so we were blown away by surpassing that goal! The response for our community was incredible and inspiring, especially during these unprecedented times,” said Tanicia Barnes, UWGG Young Leaders cabinet member, Cone Health Launch Co-Chair, and organizer of Cone Health’s Basic Need Kits drive.

“Cone Health alone collected 434 kits, supported the drive by purchasing over 200 items from the Basic Needs Kit Amazon wishlist, and collected almost 150 additional items! Cone Health was a proud participant in this initiative by way of Launch— one of Cone Health Inclusion Network groups. I’m so proud of how our Cone family upheld the iCARE value of Caring for our Community,” Barnes continued.

The following partners received kits and will distribute to local folks experiencing homelessness over the next few weeks:

  • Greensboro Housing Coalition
  • Greensboro Urban Ministry (Pathways Family Center)
  • Interactive Resource Center
  • Partners Ending Homelessness
  • The Salvation Army of Greensboro (Center of Hope)
  • The Servant Center
  • YWCA Greensboro

To learn more about upcoming volunteer opportunities with UWGG, visit unitedwaygso.org/volunteer.

Community Volunteer Collects 4,000+ Baby Items 

Every year, United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) hosts a variety of volunteer opportunities in partnership with the Volunteer Center of the Triad and various partner agencies to celebrate National Volunteer Week. This year, as many continue to social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic, UWGG encouraged community members to host Baby Items drives for items like diapers, wipes, and more to benefit members of UWGG’s Family Success Centers.

When Beverly Johnson learned of the opportunity to volunteer safely in this way, she knew she had to participate. Beverly hosted a porch drop-off drive and by simply inviting her neighbors and friends to participate, the collection grew beyond what she thought was possible.

“Every day I got to watch the collection grow. It was inspiring to see the kindness of my friends and neighbors who were thrilled to include a few items for this important cause,” said Beverly. 

Through her efforts, Beverly and her friends and neighbors collected over 4,680 items! All items collected were delivered to UWGG’s Family Success Center #1. Altogether, generous community members donated thousands items to support the National Volunteer Week Baby Items drive effort.

“After months of distancing, my neighbors came together to support this United Way volunteer project and we look forward to doing it again. Thanks to United Way for creating a tangible and personal way for us to get involved in your focus to end poverty. We all appreciate what United Way is doing in our greater community to ease the effects of poverty as it relates to families and children!”

UWGG’s Family Success Centers partner with families to support their transition from poverty into financial stability through personalized coaching and strategically bundled and sequenced services offered in a central location.

Since March 2020, both Family Success Centers temporarily closed on-site programming at their buildings and continued FSC programming and services virtually. Family Success Centers members are resilient in the face of difficulties. Many challenges, like accessing childcare and sustaining employment, have been amplified by the pandemic. Family Success Centers members have demonstrated inspiring commitment to helping their children adapt to virtual schooling while working toward accomplishing their own goals.

To learn more about upcoming volunteer opportunities with UWGG, please visit unitedwaygso.org/volunteer.

United Way Promotes Safe Volunteerism During National Volunteer Week, April 19-23

Greensboro, NC (April 2, 2021) – United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG), in partnership with The Volunteer Center of the Triad and local community organizations, is promoting safe volunteer opportunities during National Volunteer Week, April 19-23, 2021. All are encouraged to get involved in an at-home or safe in-person opportunity.

Visit www.UnitedWayGSO.org/Volunteer to sign up for an opportunity during National Volunteer Week.

Volunteer opportunities throughout National Volunteer Week that you can safely do from home or in-person include:

  • Become a mentor through UWGG’s Mentoring Matters initiative
  • Host a Baby Item Drive benefitting members of United Way’s Family Success Centers
  • Pack food backs with Backpack Beginnings
  • Unload delivery trucks with One Step Further’s food assistance program

In addition to listed opportunities, UWGG and The Volunteer Center encourage everyone to create their own safe and meaningful volunteer experience. Consider hosting your own cleanup with the City of Greensboro’s Great American Cleanup. Additional details can be found at www.UnitedWayGSO.org/Volunteer.

“United Way is thankful for the children, families and local organizations that give back. Our community always needs volunteers and National Volunteer Week is a great way to highlight a few local opportunities. We encourage everyone to volunteer this week, and stay connected throughout the year,” said Michael Cottingham, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at United Way of Greater Greensboro.

National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities.

United Way President & CEO Hired by Visa, Inc. to Lead Global Diversity and Corporate Responsibility

GREENSBORO, NC (March 16, 2021) – United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) announced today that Michelle Gethers-Clark is leaving as the organization’s President and CEO, effective, April 16, to become the Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Corporate Responsibility for Visa, Inc. 

In this newly created role, Gethers-Clark will be responsible for further elevating Visa’s approach to inclusion and diversity as a business imperative. Her role will include leading a team of more than 60 professionals worldwide who are responsible for social impact efforts to drive inclusive and equitable growth with a focus on small and micro businesses. 

In addition, Gethers-Clark and her team will lead initiatives to support Visa being a responsible, ethical and sustainable company. She will start her new role on May 3 and will report to Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., the CEO of Visa, Inc.   

Since joining UWGG in 2012 as a consultant, and then being named President and CEO in 2013, Gethers-Clark and her team have generated and distributed $90 million in financial revenue to social impact programs focused on producing positive life, health and economic outcomes for children and families in the Greensboro/Guilford County community.

In addition, under her leadership, UWGG transformed its 99-year-old regional business model from general grantmaking to a single-issue focus of solving generational and systemic poverty with significant results. To achieve this shift, the United Way team convened and galvanized stakeholders to address racial, income, wealth and social inequity through partnerships with corporations, donors, volunteers and community-based organizations. 

“I’ve been blessed to work with a tremendous team at United Way. The 26 extraordinary staff members and 34-member board of directors, were willing to boldly change the way we support our community. I thank each of them for this work on behalf of those we serve,” says Gethers-Clark. “I know the power and passion of this community will continue to push forward on the path to end poverty under the leadership of our board and in partnership with the entire United Way team.” 

UWGG Board Chair, Kim Gatling says, “Michelle’s inspiring and transformational leadership has created a lasting impact that will be carried forward in the greater Greensboro community for years to come. Thanks to her collaborative efforts, thousands of local children and families have received life-changing supports and the hope they deserve. Thanks to her solid strategies, existing and future United Way leadership will continue creating partnerships that produce meaningful, equitable and lasting impact. Speaking on behalf of the entire United Way board and team, we are excited for Michelle and wish her all the best in her new global-impact role.”

Gatling and Michele Deuterman, Chair of UWGG’s Human Resource Committee will soon announce plans to conduct a CEO search for Gethers-Clark’s successor. 

END POVERTY: United Way of Greater Greensboro is leading a movement to END poverty. We create strategic partnerships and initiatives that are coordinated and work with children adults, and families across the entire community. More than 57,000 people are living in poverty in the greater Greensboro area. In the City of Greensboro, one out of every four children, lives in poverty. With community support, we’re connecting people to opportunities like housing, jobs, education and healthcare. The federal government defines poverty as a family of four earning $25,750 per year. According to local self-sufficiency standards, many four-member households need to earn around $60,000 to meet basic needs without subsidized assistance. www.UnitedWayGSO.org Local impact for 99 years and counting.

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United Way of Greater Greensboro Seeking Requests for Proposal to Address Housing Disparities

United Way is leveraging $1 million of recent $10 million MacKenzie Scott Gift to help households recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19

GREENSBORO, NC (March 15, 2021) –United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) is pleased to announce it is leveraging the first $1 million of philanthropist MacKenzie Scott’s recent $10 million gift, by seeking grant applications for innovative solutions to address housing disparities as part of the organization’s focus on ending poverty.

In December 2020, Scott gifted over $4 billion to 384 nonprofits across the nation. UWGG was one of only two United Ways in North Carolina to receive funding. At the time, UWGG announced plans to utilize the funds to make innovative and transformational investments in solutions that work together to end poverty across the entire community.

In the spirit of supporting collaborative impact and responding to the ongoing economic impacts of COVID-19, UWGG is seeking:

Requests for Proposal: Housing and Community Recovery Grants 2021-2022.

Interested organizations can visit www.UnitedWay.GSO/Our-Grants to access additional information and application documents.

Proposals must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on April 30, 2021 to support 300 households in Greater Greensboro to achieve one or more of the following:

  • Secure permanent housing.
  • Maintain permanent housing.
  • Purchase home as first-time homebuyers.

Strategies to achieve these goals can address gaps in existing services and resources. The scope of services can include,but are not limited to, the following:

  • Rental and utility assistance and eviction prevention
  • Foreclosure prevention and mortgage assistance
  • Case management and supportive services
  • First time homebuyer assistance

Grants will be awarded for a minimum of $100,000 not to exceed the available pool of $1,000,0000.

“We are thrilled that through this investment, 300 households will be provided with extra support in helping them to recover from the impacts of COVID. An investment of $1,000,000 by UWGG will help our city build a future that leaves poverty behind through permanent, stable housing,” says Frank McCain, UWGG Vice President, Community Investment & Impact

“Stable housing is the foundation of well-being. The temporary and permanent housing industry in Greensboro is rocky at best. Research has solidified the housing industry as an economic engine and if history repeats itself, will propel our post COVID-19 recovery. In the past, communities that made investments in housing its’ residents have experienced economic recovery after virtually every major downturn.”

Why is UWGG issuing the RFP specific to housing?
While significant and needed federal funds have entered the community for rental and utility assistance, gaps in assistance remain. There is a need for unrestricted and flexible funding. 

Eviction moratoriums will eventually end. And the housing disparities that existed before COVID-19 must still be addressed. UWGG wants to support permanent housing along a continuum – from short-term crisis assistance all the way to home ownership, a critical strategy for building the wealth and assets needed for ending generational poverty.

Why is UWGG leveraging $1 Million of the grant money?
There is no better opportunity than now to strategically leverage the Mackenzie Scott gift. The funds allow UWGG to make larger, high-impact investments in innovative solutions that will accelerate the recovery of our community, post COVID-19. The UWGG investment will stimulate a longer-term impact.

Seven Local United Way Community Partners Receive United Way Spirit of NC Awards

Winners include Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard L.L.P., City of Greensboro, Cone Health System, Guilford County Schools, Lincoln Financial Group, Morrisette Paper, and Syngenta

Greensboro, NC (March 3, 2021) – Seven local United Way of Greater Greensboro community partners were honored with Spirit of North Carolina Awards at United Way of North Carolina’s annual award event on March 3, 2021.

On a yearly basis, United Way of North Carolina recognizes organizations that have succeeded in raising funds to support their community and have dedicated themselves to being part of the long-term solution to build stronger communities. 

“This year’s winners stepped up to support local children, families, and adults even when their own business and employees faced extreme challenges. We are incredibly grateful for their partnership and care for the greater Greensboro community,” said Julia Thomas, Campaign Director at United Way of Greater Greensboro.

Leading beyond the traditional fundraising campaign, these winners created opportunities to educate employees on community needs, led by those at the top of the organizational chart; motivated campaign participants to give by exposing them to real stories of need; and provided volunteer opportunities so that donors could offer their knowledge and their hands to serve their community.

Local Spirit of NC Award winners include:

Creative Kickoff/Volunteer Event

  • Syngenta- Syngenta is no stranger to thinking outside of the box, so it did not come to a surprise that they continued to outdo themselves even in a virtual world. As one of the first companies to help kick off United Way of Greater Greensboro’s campaign, their virtual kickoff and prize giveaway was an extraordinary way to start off the year. The kickoff event’s buzz rang the length of the campaign and contributed to this year’s high participation rate. 

Building Campaign Momentum with Engaged Leadership & Employees

  • Guilford County Schools-  Guilford County Schools is a giving organization with a culture of philanthropy and community service which is exhibited not only by their Superintendent, Board of Education, Executive Leadership Team and principals but also in their more than 9,900 employees and the more than 73,000 students in grades PreK-12. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, their leadership has stepped up to be advocates in the fight to end poverty and to continue to push forward in helping those who are less fortunate. They continue to lead by example as one of the top fundraising school systems in North Carolina.
  • Cone Health System- Considering the pandemic and the pressing focus it has a health system, Cone Health’s senior leaders still made time for promoting the United Way campaign and the impact employees’ gifts can make on the community. The campaign switched to being 100% virtual this year to limit social gatherings during the pandemic, but Cone Health found a way to be creative and speak to employees. The CEO, campus presidents, campaign chairs and other high-level staff kicked off the campaign with personal videos which were shared with all staff about why they personally give and encouraging others to do the same. Senior leaders also shared about the United Way campaign in all staff meetings occurring during the campaign. The campaign’s success was due in large part to Cone Health’s many leaders.
  • Morrisette Paper– The Morrisette family have been long-time United Way Tocqueville donors. In addition to their personal giving, they run an employee campaign at their local business, Morrisette Paper, give a corporate gift and also offer a corporate match for those employees who give. For the past two years, the Morrisette’s have served as United Way’s Campaign Chairs and generously underwrote the car that United Way of Greater Greensboro offers to all donors as a giveaway incentive. Leading by example and showing their personal commitment has resonated with their employees has led to high participation in their employee giving campaign. 

Investment in Long-term Sustainable Impact

  • Lincoln Financial Group– Lincoln Financial Group has invested in United Way for nearly a century. Formerly Jefferson Pilot, they were a founding member of the Greensboro Community Chest. Not only are they generous with their longstanding corporate foundation support, but they also encourage employees’ participation in the workplace campaign and volunteering with and joining nonprofit boards throughout the community, thus ensuring a community that is supported in all aspects.  As a guiding principle, Lincoln values diversity within their organization and through their hiring practices. Because of this diversity, this mindset extends to diverse philanthropic giving and volunteerism, ensuring that their investments are spread throughout the community and resulting in high impact and strong outcomes.

Extraordinary & Courageous Community Response amid COVID-19

  • City of Greensboro– City of Greensboro has been a long-standing partner with United Way of Greater Greensboro, and we are so appreciative of their rapid response to COVID-19. Department by department, they each played a critical role in keeping their residents as safe, and healthy as possible. Early in the pandemic, United Way of Greater Greensboro and the City of Greensboro established the Greensboro Virus Relief Fund. Donations were used to support local children and families impacted by the virus. United Way and the City also formed a Virus Relief Taskforce to determine ongoing needs and fund distribution. 

Campaign/Engagement Growth

  • Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard L.L.P.- Brooks Pierce’s 2020 United Way Campaign increased totals dollars raised by about 4% in the middle of a pandemic. They also increase their participation rate by over 11%. During our current pandemic, Brooks Pierce has tirelessly worked to raise more than $100,000 for United Way to end generational poverty in the Greater Greensboro area. 

New criteria were established this year for selection of Spirit of North Carolina Winners. As local United Ways are heavily focused on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for racial equity, building engagement in a virtual environment, and ensuring employee productivity and health while working from home, this change was necessary to better complement today’s reality. Individual United Ways determined their own Spirit of NC winners. All winners were selected within the 6 categories offered and met the criteria outlined. 

For more information about the Spirit of North Carolina Award and to view a complete list of winners, visit unitedwaync.org/spirit-north-carolina-award-winners.

Mentoring Matters: Cayden & Alana’s Story

Alana and Cayden are one example of how mentoring truly matters.

The first time Alana asked Cayden to look in the mirror and name three things she liked about herself, she couldn’t name one. Just one year later, she can name more than three. She’s thriving in STEM at Kearns Academy of Computer and Information Science and is more confident than ever. And it’s all thanks to the power of mentorship.

“I don’t know where I’d be without my mentor, Ms. Alana,” said Cayden.

Alana, founder of I Am A Queen, launched the nonprofit at just 23 years old after recognizing the need for a mentor in her own life. The organization is a member of United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Mentoring Matters initiative that works to increase the number of mentors and improve the effectiveness of mentoring programs in the Greater Greensboro area. United Way supports mentoring because young people who have additional positive, caring adults in their lives as mentors are more likely to overcome and avoid poverty.

“When I was abused as a child, I didn’t have an adult to turn to. I knew I needed to create a safe space for young girls in my community to express themselves and grow into their full potential. 12 years later, I Am A Queen is impacting lives like I only imagined it would,” said Alana.

According to Alana and Cayden both, Cayden’s growth in the last year through mentorship and volunteerism has been nothing short of amazing.

“When I first met Cayden, she was extremely shy. She sat in the back of the room. Cayden is so much more confident now. She is an awesome public speaker. She’s giving back to her community,” said Alana. “Cayden has awesome parents who support her so much. Having the extra boost of a mentor helped her to shine.”

The data supports this too. According to MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, having a mentor is linked to improved academic, social, and economic prospects. 

Young adults with mentors are:

  • 55% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly
  • And 130% more likely to hold leadership positions.

Cayden thinks everyone should have a mentor. “Some of my friends would benefit from having a mentor—everyone would! You can get off track about what’s important, but your mentor is there to help you be your best self, bring out your strengths, and help you work on your areas of improvement. You need someone in your life that will help push you and my mentor has always done that for me,” said Cayden.

Outside of the classroom, Cayden believes that serving her community is her responsibility. When asked why she volunteers, Cayden said, “It’s a given.” She’s participated in all three of I Am A Queen’s big community service events— Winter Drive for the Homeless, Back to School, and Christmas Adoption—along with other community volunteer opportunities. Looking to 2021, Cayden will even be volunteering to teach a STEM workshop for I Am A Queen participants.

Mentors like Alana help keep students in school, improve self-esteem, and set career goals and take steps to realize them. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset. Right now, there are children in our community waiting for someone like you to listen, guide and share your life experience with them. Click here to learn more about how to become a mentor.

United Way of Greater Greensboro Receives Historic $10 Million Gift from Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott

Gift will be used over the next three years to make innovative investments to lift local children and families out of poverty

Greensboro, NC (December 16, 2020) – United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) has received a $10 million gift from MacKenzie Scott, renowned philanthropist and novelist, to invest in efforts that lift local children and families out of poverty. The gift is the largest received in UWGG’s 98-year history. 

“We are honored to have our work of ending local poverty acknowledged in such a remarkable way. This historic moment gives us encouragement to innovate further in the work that the greater Greensboro community has entrusted us to complete,” said Michelle Gethers-Clark, President and CEO, UWGG. 

UWGG will utilize the funds over the next three years to make innovative and transformational investments in solutions that are working together to end poverty across the entire community. 

Scott has committed to giving the majority of her fortune to philanthropic causes, and UWGG’s gift is among $4,158,500,000 she recently gifted to 384 nonprofits across the nation. In a statement released HERE, Scott announced she and a team of advisors researched thousands of nonprofits before selecting those receiving gifts.  

“They took a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital. Because our research is data-driven and rigorous, our giving process can be human and soft,” said Scott. 

Prior to the pandemic, over 57,000 people in the greater Greensboro community were living in poverty, including one out of every four children in Greensboro. The federal government defines poverty as a single person earning $12,760 or a family of four earning $26,200 per year. 

According to Gethers-Clark, being selected to receive Scott’s gift was made possible thanks to the hard work and dedication of local community members and corporations who have supported UWGG over the past 98-years. 

“To be selected as one of 384 organizations across the nation is humbling and affirming. This is a moment to celebrate and double-down as a community. These dollars are going to be used to make smart investments in our community,” said Gethers-Clark, who added, “We are confident this monumental gesture will inspire others to learn about and support the work of UWGG.”  

$96,000 Granted to Four Local Nonprofits Helping People Impacted by COVID-19

To-Date, Greensboro Virus Relief Taskforce Has Granted Over $2.5 million to Over 100 local Nonprofits

Greensboro, NC (December 4, 2020) – The Greensboro Virus Relief Taskforce is pleased to announce it recently granted $96,740 to 4 local nonprofits providing services to people impacted by the Coronavirus. To-date the Taskforce has granted a total of $2,512,188 to over 100 local nonprofits helping thousands of individuals and families.

The funds were allocated from the Greensboro Virus Relief Fund which was established by United Way of Greater Greensboro, City of Greensboro, and Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro.

The Taskforce is co-chaired by Larry Davis, Assistant City Manager, and Frank McCain, Vice President, Community Impact and Investment, United Way and comprised of leaders from Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, Guilford County and community leaders representing human service-focused areas.

The latest round of funding was made largely possible thanks to a $75,000 donation from the Women to Women Initiative of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro. This marks the second time the Women to Women Initiative (W2W) has donated to the Greensboro Virus Fund, raising their annual virus relief support total to $150,000.

“When W2W made their initial gift of $75,000 in March, we suspected that many others would do the same, similar to the response during a natural disaster,” said Dena Maginnes-Jeffrey coordinator for the Women to Women initiative. “With that in mind W2W knew as the months progressed, the needs would continue to grow, financial reserves would diminish, and additional funds would be needed.”

The Taskforce awards grants up to $25,000 to organizations addressing the priority area of Housing Vulnerabilities (such as mortgage or rental assistance; housing counseling; shelter for the homeless; and utility assistance). Nonprofits interested in grant funding can learn more and submit applications by visiting www.UnitedWayGSO.org/Virus

The latest round of funding was granted to the following nonprofits addressing Housing Vulnerabilities:

  • The Salvation Army Center of Hope: $25,000
  • Faith Action International House: $25,000
  • Community Housing Solutions: $24,200
  • Turning Point 180: $25,000

The Taskforce is grateful for gifts of all sizes and every donor is contacted personally to acknowledge their support. Additionally, the Taskforce would like to acknowledge the following organization for their extremely generous support this week.

  • Women to Women Initiative of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro: $75,000
  • Mrs. Carter W. Leinster: $5,000

Public Invited to Attend United Way’s Free Virtual Holiday Concert featuring Jessica Mashburn and Evan Olson

Greensboro, NC (December 3, 2020) – United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) is continuing to celebrate its 98th year and invites everyone in the community to join the fun. On December 17, 5:30-6:30 p.m., UWGG is hosting a free virtual concert with live music by local artists Jessica Mashburn and Evan Olson.

“We are so excited to partner our music with United Way’s work to end poverty. It’s our belief that if more people supported their mission, they could lift up our community to a position where those in need could begin to thrive here,” said Mashburn.

Everyone is invited to virtually attend the concert to learn about what’s new with UWGG’s efforts to end poverty and enjoy the family-friendly concert.

UWGG is asking 10,000 people to donate $100 this year. During the event, attendees will be invited to text IND100 to 41444 to give and become one of the 10,000 people joining the movement to end local poverty.

Visit www.UnitedWayGSO.org/Concert to register and watch via Zoom. Alternatively, watch the Facebook livestream at www.facebook.com/unitedwaygso.