March 2021
Mark Your Calendar!
NCCAA to Host 2021 Annual Conference May 11-14
Registration is now open for NCCAA’s 2021 annual conference, scheduled for May 11-14. 

The fully virtual event will provide the safest approach for the wellbeing of conference participants, allowing attendees to access the same vibrant programming, impactful networking, and opportunities to reflect and connect over emerging and pressing salient topics for community action professionals.

This year’s theme—Equity Starts Here­—will be reflected in the panel discussions, presentations and workshops over the four-day event. We look forward to having you join us for this fully online conference and will be reaching out with complete details and the updated program shortly.
In Memoriam
Mary Ann"Bunny Burton Leatherwood
Mary Ann "Bunny" Burton Leatherwood, wife of former Western Carolina Community Action (WCCA) Executive Director John Leatherwood, Jr. (1968-1998), passed on Monday, March 1, at her home in Hendersonville, NC.
Sharon Goodson Honored as Hurricanes' Hero of the Game
NCCAA Executive Director Sharon Goodson was recognized as the Carolina Hurricanes’ Hero of the Game. The acknowledgement was made during the teams’ Feb. 2 shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks. 

Each week, the Hurricanes recognize a community hero—an individual who has made a significant impact on improving the lives of area children and their families. “We work hard to make sure our heroes represent the great work going on in our community, agents of change and impact, and the diversity of our community,” said Jon Chase, vice president, community outreach, Carolina Hurricanes Foundation. 

“We are honored to recognize a strong leader in the community with Sharon’s experience and as an agent of change during Black History Month as well. We value and realize our platform as we strive to meet our goal of Hockey is For Everyone every day, month and year. I continue to listen, learn, and fully push that representation matters, and today is an example.”
Registration Now Open for the March ROMA Certification Class
Registration for the March ROMA certification class is now open through March 12. Please contact Nafia Speach to reserve your seat.

The application fee for the 2021 NCRI Training & Certification process is $775.00* and the application fee for the 2021 NCRT Training & Certification process is $995.00*. Please indicate in your response to Nafia whether you wish to apply for the NCRI or NCRT.

*A limited number of scholarships are now available for NCCAA members. Priority will be given to agencies without a certified ROMA implementer or trainer on staff, however, all interested community action staff members in the NCCAA network can apply. Contact Nafia Speach for more information on the scholarships.
Agency News
Success Story: Featuring Sandhill Community Action Program
We are so proud of all the success our agencies achieve! These stories have been collected, adapted, and edited for clarity.
SCAP Entrepreneurial Program Participant Gains Blueprint for Screen Printing Business Success
Keya Williams didn’t win first place in the North Carolina Community Action Association’s (NCCAA) competition for best presentation in its program for entrepreneurs.

She didn’t win second or third place, either.
But if you ask her, she hit the jackpot.

Despite not winning any of the NCCAA $10,000 award, Williams, in fact, did receive something which is proving to be even more valuable. “I learned how to run my own business,” she said.

Williams, 35, enrolled in a 10-week entrepreneurial course offered by Sandhills Community Action Program (SCAP) in Moore County. The course is part of SCAP’s CSBG/STARS Self-Sufficiency Program which assists low-income, unemployed or under-employed individuals in achieving financial stability.
Want to share your success stories? Send them to
Community Action News, Publications and Features
Mountain Projects continues to help their communities sign up for health insurance. Their on-going efforts ensure that hundreds of North Carolinians get access to health insurance when previously they wouldn't have it. Great work!
Sharika entered the WIOA Adult Program at Lenoir Community College so she could pursue a career in education. During her time in the program, she worked at Greene Lamp. She struggled working and going to school and parenting her daughter and her grades began to slip. However her work family and community didn't let her down! Her coworkers helped tutor her and gave her the support she needed to do it all. Now Sharika has her dream job in child education.

Thanks Greene Lamp for going the extra mile and taking care of your people! You don't just make a difference in the lives of your clients.
ESR established the Louise G. Wilson Legacy Society, created to recognize those who donate $1,000 or more throughout the year to ESR. This legacy society is in honor one of ESR's longest serving executive directors. Learn m ore about Louise G Wilson and this new donor society at this link.
Our friends at Blue Ridge Community Action were highlighted both in an article and tv news calling for applications to their weatherization program! What a great way to get the word out and spend all the money we have to help people!
The NC Department of Transportation is handing out thousands of children's bike helmets to a number of organizations to help prevent brain injuries in children. Our association is on that list!
NEED has been working hard to help their counties with rental assistance. In 3 months they have already helped over 800 families with 400 more on a waiting list. The need is great and our friends at NEED are doing everything they can to meet it. Keep up the great work!
FVW Opportunity hosted a Facebook webinar that helped educate the community about the COVID vaccine, but also heard and discussed many of the concerns from the community. It was a very productive discussion that hopefully will help many feel more at ease.
The local scout troop hosted a food drive to help families facing food insecurity. Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission was one of the organizations that received donations from the scouts. What a great way to education the younger generation and help the community!
Greene Early College partnered with Greene Lamp Community Action's initiative to collect personal items for homeless shelters and veterans. Students at the college donated over 900 items to the drive! What a great collaboration!
Renters across North Carolina are safe from eviction for nonpayment of rent through the end of March. Governor Cooper originally issued an eviction moratorium in October, which expired December 31, 2020. An interim Executive Order extended the deadline from December 31 to January 31, 2021 and Governor Cooper’s recent Executive Order 191 (issued on January 27, 2021), now extends the eviction moratorium through March 31, 2021. This action extends the eviction protection from the previous Executive Orders 171 and 188 and follows the directive and guidance from the CDC and President Biden.

With many people struggling financially due to this pandemic, this Order halts evictions for nonpayment of rent. In North Carolina, an estimated 485,000 adults in rental housing reported that they are unable to pay rent and are at risk of eviction and nearly three million adults reported difficulty in covering usual household expenses, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. According to the NC Coalition to End Homelessness, evictions declined by 8.2% in NC during 2020 and attributed this reduction to the eviction moratoriums. Read the whole story here.

Want to make a difference? How can you get involved? Is this an area of expertise for you? Would you like to be a part of this developing conversation? Share your thoughts with us as we gather input from communities across NC. 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
Shout out and Congratulations!...... Jim Watts! Jim is WAMY's Housing and Energy Director. This is what they have to say about him, "Jim has been a licensed general contractor for over 40 years and is a terrific leader to our housing team! Jim's favorite thing about working at WAMY is being able to help clients who deserve the help and making a difference in their lives. Jim also enjoys his fellow WAMY staff and loves being able to work closely with those who want to make a difference. In his free time Jim enjoys spending time with his sons and daughter. He also loves to go swimming and garden. Jim has 2 wonderful dogs that he spends a lot of time with outside of work."

We are so thrilled to have your as part of our network, Jim! 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 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 and tell us what you're looking for!
Funding Opportunities
Deadline: March 31, 2021

Whole Kids Foundation believes in edible garden learning spaces so that kids are more curious about where their food comes from. The Garden Grant program provides a $3,000 grant to support a new or existing edible educational garden.

Deadline: April 1

The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation invites nonprofit organizations to apply for one-time grants of $25,000 for projects furthering science, health and education in their local communities. These grants are intended to offer organizations a one-time opportunity to develop a new initiative or to grow and expand and/or enhance an existing program.

Deadline: April 30

The Foundation primarily supports organizations located or working in the southeast region of the United States. Funding interests include community and economic development, health and human services, and environment and education.

Deadline: May 21

By recognizing pioneering solutions and technologies that can change the world, the Zayed Sustainability Prize, has rewarded innovators and visionaries whose achievements have furthered the global proliferation of innovation, impactful and inspirational sustainability solutions. The five categories of impact include Health, Food, Energy, Water, and Global High Schools.

Mark Your Calendar

10-11 | NCCAA Pre-Conferences, Virtual
12-14 | NCCAA Conference, Virtual





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