United Way - We Step Up During Tough Times
The past year has been a scary and anxious time for all of us. But for some, the effects of the pandemic have not just been worrying, they have been crushing. At United Way, we know that this community needs us, now more than ever before. Fortunately, this is what we do best – rise to the occasion, bring resources together, and meet needs that arise in Henderson County. That is why we’ve gone even further this year to help the most vulnerable in our community.

When COVID hit, we quickly partnered with the Community Foundation of Henderson County and established the Henderson County COVID-19 Response Fund. With the support of this community, we were able to raise and distribute almost $450,000 to 38 nonprofits on the frontlines of the pandemic, providing immediate relief to people seeking food, shelter, diapers, child care, protective equipment, and assistance with rent and utility payments.

Because people in crisis need to know where to find help, we made sure our community knew about 2-1-1, United Way’s 24 hour hotline that also became the statewide hotline for COVID resources and for North Carolina’s assistance with rent and utility payments. Our United Way also coordinates the local funds received from FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program. Local nonprofits use these funds to help people with rent and utility payments, which is even more critical this year. Our local board applied for and distributed over $55,000 in EFSP funding that has flowed back out to help our community.

Since people need masks and sanitizer to stay healthy during a pandemic, United Way of Henderson County (UWHC) also leveraged and distributed 40 gallons of hand sanitizer from Gaia Herbs and approximately 41,000 FEMA masks to local nonprofits for their employees and clients and to our school children. Then, our Day of Action received wide support from the community, resulting in hygiene kits with masks, more donated hand sanitizer from Gaia Herbs, and health information for all 13,000 Henderson County Public Schools students.

Click here to read more about our accomplishments in 2020, made possible by YOU.

Warmest wishes for a happy, healthy holiday season.
Denise Cumbee Long
Executive Director
Habitat for Humanity Makes Dream of Homeownership a Reality for one Henderson County Family
“Through so many hard times in the past 21 years and many changes in my hopes and dreams, I am finally in a place in my life where I can focus on providing a safe and loving place for us.” ~Crystal Robbins, potential new homeowner

Crystal and her daughter Emily are prospective homeowners at Dodd Meadows Community, a Habitat for Humanity development supported in part by United Way funding located in East Flat Rock. The Robbins are currently living with family in an overcrowded unfinished basement that is cold, dark, and damp with visible mold and limited appliances.

"Crystal has lived through so many chapters in the past twenty‐one years, that her hopes and dreams became numb. No matter how many trials she endured, within the past year she has started to feel like hope is back. Crystal heard about Habitat from one of her friends and she didn’t hesitate to apply," according to Habitat for Humanity officials.

The Robbins family has been pre‐approved for a three‐bedroom and two bath home. Crystal is excited about starting the next hopeful chapter that ends with accomplished dreams and a place to call home.

Your gifts to United Way support Habitat for Humanity and 18 other local nonprofits.
New Charitable Giving Opportunities
From healthcare workers to first responders, many people are risking their safety and making great sacrifices to battle this pandemic. Those of us not on the front lines may still want to help however we can. The CARES Act makes it easier to give in 2020.

New $300 deduction: If you take the standard deduction on your federal tax return, the CARES Act allows you to claim a new deduction in computing adjusted gross income, of up to $300 for charitable cash donations made to qualifying charitable organizations made before December 31, 2020.

Higher deduction limit: Normally, if you itemize deductions on your federal tax return, the amount of charitable cash contributions you can deduct is capped at 60% of adjusted gross income. The CARES Act temporarily raises the cap to 100% of adjusted gross income for cash donations made in 2020. That means if you itemize deductions and make charitable cash contributions to qualifying charitable organizations, you can potentially deduct more this year.

IRA charitable rollover: The IRA Charitable Rollover allows individuals who are 70 1/2 years old to donate up to $100,000 to charitable organizations directly from their IRA, without that donation being counted as taxable income when it is withdrawn. To qualify, contributions must come from a traditional IRA or Roth IRA, and they must be made directly to a qualified charitable organization.

Women United Affinity Group Provides Christmas Gifts for 50 Children Through Blessings in Boxes
Our Women United affinity group came together in spite of a pandemic to ensure that 50 children associated with The Storehouse's Blessings in Boxes program would have a magical Christmas! Thank you to all of our Women United members who contributed toys, clothing and bikes to our children in need and who provided support at our offices to get things organized for The Storehouse! We are so grateful for you!

If you are interested in learning more about Women United, please contact Sarah Swartz at sswartz@liveunitedhc.org.