February 2021
The Big Pop Up in Raleigh was a Success!
Thank you to all our volunteers, sponsors, partners and staff for working together to make The Big Pop Up in Raleigh a major success! We were able to provide just over 1,000 cars and families with a food box, coconut water, community information and coupons, masks and assorted household items! We were honored to serve over 1,000 cars before we ran out of product. The need is so great, which is why we put on this event.

Thanks to our sponsors and partners, we received almost $1 million of financial or in-kind donations which allowed us to help so many people. So thank you Good360, PNC Arena, PNC, Office of Economic Opportunity, Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, Blue Cross NC, Duke Energy, Carolina Complete Health, Community Success Initiative, Northwest Woolen Mills, MIX 101.5 WRAL-FM, Papa Murphy's, AmeriHealth Caritas, and Ungela Cousar Realtor!

And thanks to our hard working volunteers! They helped us sort household goods, pack sweet potatoes, direct traffic, stuff envelopes, set up the day of, and put the product in the cars. We couldn't have done this without each and every one of you!

We are excited to take The Big Pop Up to Statesville in March, to Edenton in May and to Waynesville in July. Learn more about our upcoming events, and join us as a partner, sponsor or volunteer.
Help People in Need Just by Drinking Coffee!
Drink that cup-o-joe each morning knowing you just helped another family in need. All you need to do is what you normally do: drink coffee! Buy our coffee blend - NEW Grounds Coffee - today and get it delivered to your door! The proceeds go to supporting the NEW Reentry Council, which supports returning citizens in Wilson, Nash and Edgecombe county to ensure they have a successful reentry.

Our coffee is fair trade, shade grown and grown by independent farmers in Ethiopia. It comes in whole beans, drip, french press, espresso, turkish, and percolator.
Case Management and Head Start Family Engagement Certifications
Want to train your new staff members, or give your current staff a professional development opportunity? Our next certification cohorts are an excellent choice for professional development and training. They come highly rated by our past participants, are 100% online, last 8 weeks and come with a university-sealed certificate.

Our next Head Start certification starts February 22 and the Case Management certification starts March 22. Learn more and register below!
Agency News
Success Story: Provided by Charlotte Area Fund
We are so proud of all the success our agencies achieve! These stories have been collected, adapted, and edited for clarity.
Charlotte Area Fund put together this touching client testimonial story. Tiesha is a single mom who moved to Charlotte to find a better life. Charlotte Area Fund helped her get her CNA, provided food and housing, and gave her the tools she needed to improve her life. Hear her story in this video.

This story represents one of thousands of customers enrolled in a program at their local community action agency. Community Action Works!
Want to share your success stories? Send them to [email protected]
Community Action News, Publications and Features
12 Days of Christmas Challenge Update
Thank you to everyone who donated to our 12 Days of Christmas Challenge. We were able to provide hundreds of families across the state with a food box and Christmas presents. Here are some of the success stories.

Passage Home helped 297 children get Christmas presents through a drive-thru event, which featured Mr. and Mrs. Claus!
Central Piedmont Community Action was able to help 12 families. Here are some of the quotes from families they helped:

"Thank you very much for the holiday help. My kids will be very happy. I’m also grateful to the person who referred me to Central Piedmont Community Action and their programs." - The Carawan Family

“Thank you and we really do appreciate it!” - T. Jones

“I want to thank CPCA! This is a blessing during COVID-19 around the holidays. It is extremely hard for everyone, so I just want to say thank you!” - D. Davis
Nash Edgecombe Wilson Reentry Council was able to provide three families with Christmas presents. They were also able to provide coats, clothes, shoes, personal hygiene products and food to boarding houses and early release offenders.
Charlotte Area Fund assisted several Mecklenburg families in making the season special. CAF provided holiday meals, clothing, toys and gift cards for over 15 families in-need. “The pandemic has put extra stress on families. This was intensified this holiday season and our goal was to help alleviate that stress on parents and families,” said Deborah Frink, CAF emergency assistance coordinator.
One of the largest gaps in our community is the support and services for the senior population. Last year we launched our first ever Santa for Seniors Program, with the goal of making sure all the shut-ins in Hospice Care and Home Delivered Meals Program received a gift for Christmas – we wanted them to know they are thought of and loved. It was a huge success and brought smiles to so many. Many of these seniors do not receive anything during the Holidays - not even a visit from family members, especially because of COVID-19. Our goal this year was to brighten their day with a gift and spread holiday cheer!

This year has been anything but easy and normal and we expected to face a lot of challenges, both with fundraising and deliveries due to COVID. However, our community pulled together and we raised $2,233.44 and delivered 724 gifts. In Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey Counties we served hospice patients, home delivered meals clients, many nursing homes, and each person that was referred to our program. 
The testing and shots took place in a drive thru fashion in the parking lot of ESR on Saturday, December 12 and Saturday, December 19 from 10-3 pm. The testing was free of charge thanks to the Twin City Medical Society, who received funding to provide free testing in low-income areas with high populations of minorities. The flu shots, which were administered by the Forsyth County Department of Public Health, were free as well. Spanish speakers were available onsite to assist with translation needs. In addition to testing and flu shots, the people were also offered a box of fresh groceries and masks.
The testing site received an influx of people on December 12 with 50 residents driving through to get tested and receive their flu shot. On December 19, that number nearly doubled. 
“Many people are trying to get tested and receive their flu shots to make sure they are safe to be with family and friends over the holidays,” says Twana Roebuck, Executive Director of ESR. “We want our community to be safe and we are happy to be able to partner with the Twin City Medical Society and the Forsyth County Department of Public Health to provide this service.” 
First COVID took her job at the nursing home and then COVID took her home.

Ms. Jones came to Passage Home when she was living on the street. Sleeping in her car through the heat of the summer and the cold of the late fall.

Once enrolled in Passage Home, Ms. Jones and her Case Manager immediately started planning to change her circumstances.

The first thing was to get her safe and stable shelter. Passage Home immediately put her up in a hotel while we looked for more permanent housing. Ms. Jones is one of the 315+ individuals or families we helped maintain residence during the pandemic.
Charlotte Area Fund Board Member Ms. Counts-Scoggins encourages others to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Atrium Health’s newly published interview. Here, in her words, Ms. Counts-Scoggins explains why she decided to get the vaccine, and why she hopes that others do so, too.
YVEDDI partnered with local organizations to host a prescription drug take-back event where they collected 3.5 pounds of prescription medication. They hope this event will help end the opioid crisis in their local communities and hope to hold more take-back events in the future.
Sandhills Community Action Program was highlighted in this article about homelessness in Moore county. Thanks for all you do and spreading the word about your housing programs!
The NCCAA is excited to be part of this coalition of Medicaid and Medicaid Managed Care champions along with some of our agencies. "NCBM understands that the well-being of the state's most vulnerable populations is at stake, thus membership is comprised of not only credible voices in health care but also underrepresented voices. North Carolina for Better Medicaid's growing membership encourages dedicated health care stakeholders to join in supporting this critical transformation impacting millions of North Carolinians." Learn more at https://northcarolina.togetherforbettermedicaid.org/
Start the New Year by taking a look at the December issue of VirtualCAP RoundUP. NCCAA is providing each CAA in North Carolina with a subscription to RoundUP. A special Focus Topic starts off each issue followed by short articles on Successful CAA Funding Initiatives, Innovative CAA Programs, Community Action News and more. Links are included for source material and useful resources.

Request assistance by emailing [email protected] if you need help with your agency’s username and password to access the current issue and archives. Each issue is published online and PDF download.
Forsyth Free Tax, a program of Experiment in Self-Reliance (ESR), provides free tax preparation for those who meet the income guidelines. For residents making less than $57,000, free tax help and return preparation is available through volunteer sites. IRS-certified volunteers ask the needed questions to find out if you qualify for the EITC and other refundable credits.
ESR’s Forsyth Free Tax program has provided free services for more than two decades, bringing in millions of dollars in EITC, CTC, and tax refunds into the community each year.

North Carolina, touted in the 1930’s as the “Good Roads State,” finds itself at a critical transportation crossroads. Transportation is a critical element for the future and profoundly impacts our economy, environment and overall quality of life, both now, and for future generations. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) has a budget of over $5 billion a year, making it the second largest state agency. NC DOT maintains the second largest state road network in the country, just smaller than in Texas.

How does this affect the average NC resident? For the typical family, transportation is the second biggest expense after housing, consuming about 20% of the family budget—that number is even more for low-income households. How we meet our mobility needs clearly is one of most pressing public policy issues. Read more about transportation here.

Want to make a difference? How can you get involved? NC Community Action Association is chartering a Transportation Think Tank initiative to consider these issues and propose multi-faceted solutions: addressing systems, infrastructure and policy. Is this an area of expertise for you? Would you like to be a part of this developing conversation? Initial meetings will be held in March, 2021 and will be held 100% virtually, making attendance from anywhere in the state feasible. For additional information, contact Elle Evans Peterson at [email protected]
Shout out and Congratulations!...... Jamie Richard! She is the employee of the quarter at Central Piedmont Community Action. Her supervisor said, "Jamie started as a HOPE Specialist in October and has hit the ground running. She has went above and beyond to get application documents and agreements completed so we can submit for payment in a timely manner. She has stepped up when asked and performed extremely well in the HOPE program. Jamie has been a valued and integral part of making the HOPE program a success for Chatham County residents."

We are so thrilled to have your as part of our network, Jamie! And we look forward to your continued contributions to the NC Community Action network!
NCCAA Events
Join the Fight Against Poverty
Have you ever wanted to be a poverty fighter? Now you can be! Donate to our cause and become a member. We help hundreds of North Carolinian's EACH DAY! We provide a wide variety of services from self-sufficiency classes to home repairs to education and job training to public transportation and housing. We believe in elevating people, not just giving them a handout. With 55+ years of success, we know your money will be put to good use. Donate using the button below! Every dollar goes to helping someone in need.
Become a NCCAA Member!
We are a strong network of 34 agencies and hundreds of members. Our members get all kinds of perks, like discounted tickets, advocacy, free webinar and webinar recordings, discount trainings and more! Membership for an individual is as little as $25 a year, and for an organization it's as little as $300!

If you are a staff member of a Community Action agency, you're already a member! Learn more about the benefits you get just by fighting the good fight with us!
Webinar Training Series
Miss any of the webinars in our series? Email us at [email protected] to get the recording! Recordings are available at no cost to NCCAA members.
Training on Demand
We provide training on demand based on your specific needs and goals. Whether you want training on ROMA, marketing, human resources, board training, strategic planning, or special topics like secondary trauma and motivational interviewing.

Request a training by emailing [email protected] and tell us what you're looking for!
Funding Opportunities
Deadline: February 1

Priority is given to applicants that address funding priorities from a holistic perspective. These include protecting earth’s beauty and bounty, creating a robust, healthy food system, increasing opportunities for outdoor activities, reducing environmental health hazards, and building stronger communities. Clif Bar looks to fund organizations that demonstrate strong community ties and operate at the community level.

Deadline: February 26

In 2019, Cigna launched Healthier Kids For Our Future, a five-year initiative to improve the health and well-being of children around the world. In 2020, they expanded the initiative to focus on mental health. Cigna’s goal is to supplement existing mental health programming, and help close gaps both within and outside the school environment to address loneliness, anxiety, depression, and suicide prevention.

Deadline: February 28

Cigna wants to work with organizations that are on the ground, in the communities, working to address food insecurity throughout the world. While many schools have programs supporting at-risk populations, Cigna wants to fill the gaps that exist in and outside school. Cigna is looking for programs in the following areas: access to healthy meals; programs that address the needs of preschool children; programs that enhance or improve state and/or federal assistance efforts; food and nutrition programs that provide support for expecting mothers and caregivers; and efforts that provide nutritional education and/or food as prescription programming.

Deadline: March 1

The Covington Foundation prefers to provide revenue to projects which may serve as models for other communities. Funds are provided for the following: acquisition/rehabilitation/restoration; education; operating and program support; organizational development; publication; research. Grants are usually awarded for one year only.

Deadline: March 19

Despite steady improvement in overall health outcomes over the past decade, many under-resourced communities continue to experience substantial health disparities. Grants will address one or more of the following areas: increased access to health care; increased access to primary care; increased health literacy. Check out the website to see if your agency fits applicant eligibility guidelines.

Mark Your Calendar