Our Welcome To Sanford Business of the Week column continues our holiday season tribute to some of the exceptional non-profit organizations that make Sanford and Lee County such as special place to live. This week our spotlight shines brightly on the United Way of Lee County — a local nonprofit organization that brings people together to help solve issues that affect our entire community. One of the significant strengths of the area United Way is the partnerships it enjoys with other local nonprofits, businesses, government, and community stakeholders here in Lee County. The organization leverages these partnerships to help focus its work in the areas of education, health and financial stability (including basic needs).
One of the ways the United Way strengthens the community is by providing grants to local partner organizations and other nonprofits that offer services such as emergency assistance, health care for low-income residents, educational resources, and more. Grants are awarded each year through a vigorous application process. Decisions are made collaboratively by groups of local volunteers. The funding for these grants comes entirely from local donors and all contributions to the United Way of Lee County stay in the community and are used to help neighbors here at home.
Besides its work with partner agencies, the United Way of Lee County provides other services to the community. One of these is VolunteerLee.com, a website where you can find service opportunities all over Lee County. This website even includes volunteer opportunities you can do with your kids. After all, volunteering is a great family activity!
The local United Way also introduced another significant community resource to Lee County in the middle of 2019. NC211 is a robust information and referral service that helps people find resources to help with food, housing, utility, medical, and other human-service needs. A call to 211 from any phone (or online visit to nc211.org.) connects folks with a live call specialist who will help them find the services they need. In 2019, United Way of Lee County enhanced this 211 service so that now, anyone experiencing homelessness in Lee County can first call 211 to access and receive referrals to a full range appropriate services — even emergency shelter.
Did you know that through its partnerships and programs, the local United Way touches about 40,000 people each year in some fashion? That’s two-thirds of the people who live in Lee County. Chances are, you or someone you know has been served by a United Way partner. Here are some ways United Way of Lee County and its partners have impacted in our community in the last year:
- Through United Way’s Super Summer Reading program, 300 children in Lee County public schools were given book bags full of books and other activities to help bridge summer learning loss
- Over 3,300 school-supply items were collected for local students during United Way’s Write Start for Students school supply drive
- Over 1,400 victims of domestic violence were provided with shelter and supportive counseling services
- 62 families experiencing homelessness had shelter, case management, and help finding permanent homes of their own
- Over 25,000 residents were helped with food and other emergency assistance
- 406 local volunteer needs were met by people just like you!
- Over 500 callers received assistance and referrals through NC211
To get involved and support United Way’s efforts to assist our community, to volunteer like the individuals pictured above, or to make a secure online donation, you can visit leecountyunitedway.org.