United Way Announces New President and CEO

Khari Garvin Selected to Lead Organization Efforts to End Poverty, Public Invited to Meet Garvin at Virtual Lunch and Learn August 12

GREENSBORO, NC (July 20, 2021) – United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) announced today that Khari Garvin has been named President and CEO and will begin leading the organization’s strategy to end local poverty on July 26. The public is invited to meet Garvin during a virtual lunch and learn, August 12, noon to 1 p.m. by registering at www.UnitedWayGSO.org/CEO

Garvin, whose career in anti-poverty programs began with the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Head Start program, has more than 20 years national, state, and local experience designing and leading systems serving children and families in low-income communities.

Immediately prior to joining UWGG, Garvin served as Executive Director of Save the Children’s $30 million portfolio of regional Head Start programs where he managed over 400 staff serving children and families living in poverty in communities across six states.

Garvin led the implementation of Great Expectations, a $40 million, 10-year signature initiative of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, which helps children enter Kindergarten and emerge prepared for continued learning and success. 

His impressive experience also includes leading the state office of the North Carolina Head Start system, comprised of 55 affiliate grantee organizations including public school systems, community action agencies, county governments, and private non-profits that served over 28,000 children and families in all 100 counties. 

Garvin, who currently lives with his wife in High Point, also has experience working with Greensboro-based Guilford Child Development, where he served as Assistant Head Start/Early Head Start Program Director.

“I am excited to return to Greensboro and continue my life’s work and dedication to serving children and families. I look forward to maintaining and creating meaningful relationships and high-impact partnerships as we bear down with the greatest weight possible this community’s efforts of ending poverty,” said Garvin.

“I am a staunch advocate for people who may be discovering their voice, or who have been overlooked. Poverty should not be a final destination for anyone, and I am confident this community has what it takes to create a future where all community members have the ability to achieve their dreams.”

Garvin, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Emory University, and Master of Science in Education from Southern Illinois University, replaces Michelle Gethers-Clark who was hired in April by Visa, Inc. to serve as Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Corporate Responsibility. 

In April, UWGG formed a diverse eight-member search committee comprised of current and past board members, and announced it was working with Charles Aris Executive Search of Greensboro to conduct a national search for a new President and CEO.

Charles Aris received approximately 300 applications, had meaningful conversations with over 100 candidates, and ultimately provided the UWGG search committee with a shortened list of the most qualified candidates.

The UWGG search committee conducted two interviews with the shortened list of candidates and invited finalists to in-person meetings where each candidate was asked to conduct a presentation on relevant topics.

After meeting with additional community supporters, Garvin was selected and approved as President and CEO by the UWGG board of directors.

Garvin joins UWGG a short time before it is expected to announce a new community-developed, measurable Bold Goal aimed at helping a specific number of households leave poverty by certain date. The Bold Goal was developed over the past year with the input and collaboration of thousands of people.

Brian Pierce, Chair, UWGG Board of Directors, who served on the search committee said, “Khari is tremendously experienced in the work of addressing poverty. His drive and motivation for what he does is infectious and inspiring.”

“Khari is a strategist and a leader. He will help United Way and our community develop ways we can continue to reach for and measure our progress in this fight against poverty. Khari is uniquely equipped to help bring our community together to produce the outcomes we all want to achieve.”

END LOCAL POVERTY: United Way of Greater Greensboro is leading a movement to end local 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. The federal government defines poverty as a family of four earning $26,500 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 Awards $1 Million in Grants to Address Local Housing Disparities – Grants will help more than 300 households recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19

GREENSBORO, NC (July 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, to award five grants to local organizations leading programs supporting innovative solutions addressing housing disparities.

As part of UWGG’s focus on ending local poverty, selected programs are anticipated to help more than 300 local households recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. Grants were approved through a volunteer-led Request for Proposal process which began in April.


“Stable housing is the foundation of well-being. Research shows the housing industry is an economic engine and if history repeats itself, will help 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,” says Frank McCain, UWGG Vice President, Community Investment & Impact.

“We are thrilled that through this investment, 300 or more households will be provided with extra support to help them recover from the impacts of COVID-19. An investment of $1,000,000 will help local families build a future that leaves poverty behind through permanent, stable housing.”

Awarded Programs, impact descriptions, and amounts:

Agency and Program Impact Description Awarded 
Bridging the Gaps:  Partners Ending Homelessness (lead), Family Service of the Piedmont, Room at the Inn, The Servant Center, Youth Focus, YWCA Collaborative providing case management and financial assistance to clients who are precariously housed, homeless, or experiencing barriers to securing permanent housing and are not eligible for or have expenses not covered by public funding sources.   $330,000 
Emergency Assistance Program: Salvation Army of Greensboro Help individuals and families that are not eligible by federal guidelines with intensive case management, housing placement, and financial assistance for legal and court filings, tenant insurance violations, rental and utility assistance, and temporary hotel stays on the way to permanent housing.  $200,000 
Eviction Resolution Project: Legal Aid of NC (lead), Greensboro Housing Coalition, UNCG Center for Housing and Community Studies Collaborative providing supportive services in the areas of legal representation, financial assistance, tenant education, and case management to stabilize tenancies and to avoid immediate eviction.    $270,000 
Get Your HOUSE in Order: Housing Consultants Group Provides extra down payment assistance to homebuyers with lower incomes and higher housing debt through the City’s first-time homebuyer program. Also providing classes and coaching to prepare future homebuyers and to help current homeowners maintain ownership. $100,000 
Home Repair Program: Community Housing Solutions Preserves home ownership by completing critical home repairs to qualifying low-income homeowners who live in substandard housing conditions and elderly and/or disabled homeowners living in unsafe homes that cause falls or the inability to continue to live in their home.    $100,000 
TOTAL:   $1,000,000

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

UWGG believes housing disparities that existed before COVID-19 must still be addressed. UWGG supports 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.

What is the MacKenzie Scott $10 million gift?

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.

END LOCAL POVERTY:United Way of Greater Greensborois leading a movement to end local poverty. We create strategic partnerships and initiatives that are coordinated and help 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. The federal government defines poverty as a family of four earning $26,500 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.orgLocal impact for 99 years and counting.

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MeaningFULL Meals Helps Feed Children Over Summer Months, Public Encouraged to Get Involved

Greensboro, NC (June 23, 2021) – United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) is mobilizing the community throughout July with its annual MeaningFULL meals program in partnership with BackPack Beginnings and The Volunteer Center of the Triad. 

Eight years ago, UWGG and The Volunteer Center started MeaningFULL Meals, a nutrition project that seeks food donations to help feed school children in need while school is out for summer. BackPack Beginnings joined the partnership six years ago and serves as the recipient of all food donations, dispersing them to children and families in the community.

In the summer months, many local children do not have access to nutritious meals and go hungry. The community is invited to be part of the solution by supporting MeaningFULL Meals this July. 

“BackPack Beginnings is grateful for the United Way of Greater Greensboro’s and The Volunteer Center of the Triad’s continued support of our feeding programs through MeaningFULL Meals. Due to COVID, we have seen an unprecedented need for our food programs, and we look forward to meeting this need with the help of partners like these.  Food items donated will assist us in making sure local children are not going hungry when school is out,” said Parker White, Founder and Volunteer Executive Director, BackPack Beginnings.

Making a big difference is as easy as 1, 2, 3: 

1.      Get a box. 

2.      Fill your box with donated food items. 

3.      Drop off collected items at BackPack Beginnings 

A helpful toolkit with printable flyers can be found at UnitedWayGSO.org/volunteer. BackPack Beginnings office hours are listed at backpackbeginnings.org/contact

END LOCAL POVERTY: United Way of Greater Greensboro is leading a movement to END local 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 $26,500 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 Announces 2021-22 Board Members, Leadership and Campaign Chairs

Greensboro, NC (June 16, 2021) – At its recent annual meeting, United Way of Greater Greensboro donors unanimously voted to accept the following community leaders to serve on its Board of Directors. 

  • Alana Allen, NC A&T SU and I Am A Queen
  • Anthony Boyd, First Bank
  • Tracie Catlett, Greensboro Day School
  • Tiffany Crenshaw, Intellect Resources
  • Tabitha Allen-Draft, Hands That Speak – American Sign Language Services and CODA Connections
  • Grant Ozipko, Syngenta Crop Protection
  • Denise Patterson, Guilford County Schools
  • Jill White, Womble, Bond, Dickenson

The following volunteers have accepted leadership roles:

Board of Directors Chair

  • Brian Pierce, Deep River Partners 

Board of Directors Vice Chair

  • Davida Martin, Community Leader

Board of Directors Treasurer

  • Mike Gillis, DMJ & Co.

Board of Directors Secretary/Legal Council

  • Adam Tarleton, Brooks Pierce

The following volunteers have also accepted appointments for the 2021-22 annual campaign:

Campaign Chair

  • Scott Baker, TowneBank

Tocqueville Society Co-Chairs

  • Kathleen Kelly and George Hoyle, Compass Financial Partners, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company

Leadership Co-Chairs:

  • Jacalyn and Brantley White, Community Leader and Ardmore Residential (respectively)
  • Ashley and Frankie Jones, Perry J. Brown Funeral Home and Lincoln Financial Group (respectively)

Board of Directors members provide direction, support, guidance, and governance to the organization and leverage their expertise to advance the work of United Way. Annual campaign chairs help United Way raise awareness and support throughout the greater Greensboro community.

United Way of Greater Greensboro is pleased to announce the following 2021-22 Board of Directors:

  • Darryl Aaron, Providence Baptist Church
  • Alana Allen, NCAT & I Am A Queen
  • Scott Baker, TowneBank
  • Anthony Boyd, First Bank
  • Charlie Brinkman, Merrill Lynch
  • Claudia Cannady, Community Leader
  • Tracie Catlett, Greensboro Day School
  • Tiffany Crenshaw, Intellect Resources
  • Michele Deuterman, ITG Brands
  • Tabitha Allen-Draft, CODA Connections Inc & Hands That Speak- American Sign Language Services
  • Manuel Dudley, Guilford Technical Community College
  • Mandy Eaton, Cone Health
  • Jacquie Gilliam, UNC-Greensboro
  • Mike Gillis, DMJ & Co.
  • Tom Glaser, Tapestry/Community Leader
  • Niketa Greene, Greensboro Chamber of Commerce
  • Charisse Hart, Ready for School, Ready for Life
  • John Houghtby, Ecolab
  • Davida Martin, Community Leader
  • Phil McCall, Community Leader
  • Bryan McNeil, VF Corp
  • Heather Milligan, Lincoln Financial Group
  • Denise Patterson, Guilford County Schools
  • Brian Pierce, Deep River Partners
  • Allison Morrisette, Morrisette
  • Bill Morrisette, Morrisette
  • Nathan Myers, Truist
  • Grant Ozipko, Sygenta
  • Antonia Monk Richburg, Cone Health Foundation
  • Jose Sandoval, American National Bank
  • Dan Scutari, WFMY News 2
  • Adam Tarleton, Brooks Pierce
  • Tricia Teter, Cone Health
  • Jane Trevey, Community Leader
  • Jamiah Waterman, City of Greensboro
  • Jill White, Womble Bond Dickinson

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.

United Way Announces Interim Leader, Launching President and CEO Search

Current United Way of Greater Greensboro Chief Financial Officer, Brian Graham will Lead Organizational Operations Until a New CEO is Hired 

GREENSBORO, NC (April 8, 2021) – United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) announced today that its current Chief Financial Officer, Brian Graham will assume the organization’s interim leadership role of Chief Operating Officer, until a new President and CEO is hired to replace Michelle Gethers-Clark who is leaving, effective April 16, to become the Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Corporate Responsibility for Visa, Inc.  

Additionally, the organization announced Charles Aris Executive Search has been selected to lead a national search for a new UWGG President and CEO. After reviewing four proposals, the executive search firm was chosen by UWGG’s Selection Committee led by chair, Michele Deuterman. Charles Aris will launch the search during the month of April. 

As Interim Chief Operating Officer, Graham will report to Gethers-Clark until her last day and transition to reporting to Kim Gatling, UWGG Board Chair, until a new President and CEO is hired. 

“I am humbled and honored to lead United Way of Greater Greensboro during this critical transition. Thanks to our board, extraordinary team, and committed volunteers, we will not pause in partnering with nonprofits, businesses and volunteers on behalf of children and families on their journeys out of poverty. The future of United Way is bright, and while we pave the way for new leadership, we will forever be grateful to Michelle Gethers-Clark for her lasting impact on our community,” says Graham.  

Since 2019, Graham has strategically managed UWGG’s Financial, Human Resources, Information and Technology, and Facility and Administration operations. In addition, Graham serves as the executive staff lead on UWGG’s Finance, Human Resources, and Strategic Planning Committees.  

Graham will serve as the voice of the organization with the Board of Directors, staff, community members, and key volunteers and will ultimately support the transition of the new UWGG President and CEO. 

Immediately prior to joining UWGG, Graham served as Controller for the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, where he was responsible for organization’s financial operations of over $1.1 billion. At the foundation, he also co-led cross-functional Resource Deployment functions overseeing all grant-making, policy and civic awareness, donor collaboration, human resources, and volunteer/board engagement. Graham’s impressive career includes extensive financial oversight and management within education and faith-based institutions and working as a Senior Auditor for Ernst & Young, where one of his primary clients was The Coca-Cola Company. 

Graham’s educational background includes graduating Summa cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from NC A&T State University and graduating with a Master of Accountancy from the University of Virginia. 

Gatling says, “In accordance with United Way’s succession plan, Brian was identified as someone with strong financial acumen and leadership skills, and who has the combination of academic and large nonprofit experience, having come from the Community Foundation of Atlanta. He has also been intimately involved with the current strategic planning process. The board has complete confidence in Brian’s abilities to maintain organizational operations and provide a seamless transition for future leadership.” 

If you missed the March 16 press release announcing Michelle Gethers-Clark’s departure, please click here

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.

From Hello to Help, NC 211 is Here – Celebrate 211 Day, Feb. 11, with United Way

Greensboro, NC (February 11, 2021) – In a crisis, in a disaster, in a pandemic, NC 211 is here to help North Carolinians get connected to food, housing assistance, healthcare resources, and much more. On February 11th, United Ways and 211 call centers across the country are celebrating 211 Day.

NC 211 is a United-Way-funded information and referral service. Accessible via an easy-to-remember, three-digit number and available 24/7 in over 180 languages, families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services within their community.

In the last year, many greater Greensboro residents who may have never had to reach out for assistance before found themselves dialing 2-1-1. Jessica (a single mom of two) called 2-1-1 when she tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to work for at least two weeks. The NC 211 Call Specialist provided a referral to the county COVID helpline and information on two local programs that may be able to help Jessica with her bills.

“Over the past year, it’s become abundantly clear that anyone– at any time– can be faced with the need to seek housing or economic or health-related resources and supports, for example. Thanks to United Way’s 211, help is one phone call away,” says Traci McLemore, Senior Manager of Community Impact and Initiatives at United Way of Greater Greensboro.

On March 18th, when NC 211 was activated by Governor Cooper as part of the State’s emergency response, call volume skyrocketed. In greater Greensboro alone, NC 211 answered over 6,000 calls in 2020. The top requests in our area were for housing, health care, and food. Many callers needed help with more than one category.

“North Carolinians contact 211 for a variety of reasons, from how do I file for unemployment? To where can I find food to put on the table? And how do I pay my rent now that my income is gone?” says Heather Black, NC 211 State Director. “211 truly is for everyone. Whether you’re in a crisis or just need a little more information about state guidelines, we’re here to talk you through your concerns.”

NC 211 remains strong in its goal to provide callers with a personal connection to resources. That means from the first hello, someone calling 2-1-1 is reaching a real person who can talk through their specific situation.

In addition to finding information over the phone, North Carolinians can also search NC 211’s database of resources by visiting nc211.org and entering their need and location. This updated search tool makes it easier for residents to find services quickly if they don’t have time to make a phone call.

You can learn more about NC 211 and the local 211 Day celebration in the month of February on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @unitedwaygso or nc211.org.