COVID-19 Fund Helps Local Students Get Virtual Behavioral Health Services
Blue Ridge Health (BRH) has served Henderson and surrounding counties
for over 55 years by providing medical, dental, behavioral health, school-based, nutrition and outreach services.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, BRH needed to transform the way they deliver care from a traditional patient visit to a virtual patient visit. In late April, BRH received a $10,000 grant from the Henderson County COVID-19 Response Fund for laptops and licensing fees to enable HIPPA-compliant online patient visits.

Tanya Burdette with BRH Grants and Foundations spoke about the impact of the grant on some of their clients. "For behavioral health patients, this has been a very scary and worrisome time," she said. "This is especially true for students in Henderson County Public Schools that rely on regular visits with BRH counselors as well as students who have private counselors that have shut down."

She shared a powerful story of one local teenager and his family who have seen a positive outcome from having those services available from home. Shortly after Henderson County Schools were closed due to COVID-19, the Blue Ridge Health School Based Health Centers’ Practice Manager began calling students already in counseling or those having been identified as at-risk to let them know they could have access to virtual (telehealth) care for behavioral health services. 

One such call was to the father of a teenager whose mother had unexpectedly passed away a couple of months earlier. The teenager had already been talking to a BRH counselor, but with no insurance and the abrupt closing of his school, the father did not know where to turn. When the Practice Manager called, the father stated he had not realized virtual care was available and began to cry as he talked about how hard the loss of his wife had been on both of them. Now, not only is the son receiving weekly counseling through BRH virtual care, the father (who is uninsured as well) also joins in some sessions as they both work through their loss and try to help each other create a new family dynamic.

Since April, BRH has served 1,753 individuals with behavioral health virtual care encounters. Of those, 160 are school-age children.

United Way has assembled an online guide to local resources serving the community during the COVID-19 health crisis. Click here to find local food pantries, parenting support programs, legal advice and much more. For a comprehensive list of services, call 2-1-1 or visit NC211.org
COVID-19 Fund Reaches $300,000 Milestone in Grants Awarded to Agencies Responding to Crisis
Another round of relief grants totaling $45,314.70 has been awarded to six agencies working directly with individuals affected by the coronavirus crisis in Henderson County. This brings the total of grants awarded to $319,270.70 distributed to 37 agencies. Nearly $350,000 has been donated to the Henderson County COVID-19 Response Fund since its inception on March 20.

Grants were awarded in the areas of food bank supplies and distribution, day camp and childcare scholarships, and PPE and plexiglass dividers to enable in-person senior services.

The fund distribution committee continues to evaluate grants and release funds on a rolling basis. Read more about the grant recipients and grant award process here.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion are at the Heart of What We Do
For over 67 years, United Way of Henderson County has worked to bring positive change by fighting for the education, financial stability, and health of every person in our community. Equity and inclusion are at the heart of our efforts to reduce disparities and advance the common good.

Executive Director Denise Cumbee Long has released a statement on UWHC's commitment to combat racism and work for equity and inclusion. "I came to United Way five years ago because I believed in the ability of this organization to make our community stronger. I believe that United Way is a nonprofit built on hope and action, of bringing people together and moving our community forward. But now is the time to do even more. We should all reflect on the lessons of this moment, examine ourselves and the institutions in our community, and resolve to find ways to do more to combat the systemic racism that is the other pandemic sickening our society," she said.

Visit our Equity and Inclusion page on our website to read more from Denise, to view our Diversity Policy and to get resources that can inspire individual reflection and action (courtesy of United Way of North Carolina).
Volunteers Wanted to Assist with Children's Books!
Smart Start Partnership for Children is seeking volunteers for a variety of positions:

  • Ebay Volunteer: organize books and research value, take photographs of books, and list books on the SSPFC eBay account. Click here to learn more and sign up.
  • Community Outreach Volunteer: attend community events to promote Smart Start’s services and assist in registering young children for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Click here to learn more and sign up. 
  • Read Out and Read Volunteer: label books with Smart Start stickers and deliver books to local pediatrician offices once a month. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Visit www.volunteerhendo.org to find a volunteer position that meets your skills, interests, and abilities. If you have any questions about becoming a volunteer, or listing your agency's volunteer needs, please contact volunteer coordinator Malisia Wilkins at volunteer@liveunitedhc.org.
Shop AmazonSmile and Donate to Your Local United Way with Every Purchase
With Father's Day coming up on Sunday and many of us turning to online shopping for safe at-home delivery of essential items, we want to remind you that United Way of Henderson County participates in the AmazonSmile program and now you can access AmazonSmile from the Amazon Shopping app on your mobile device.

Simply follow these instructions to turn on AmazonSmile and start generating donations to UWHC. 

  1. Open the Amazon Shopping app on your device 
  2. Go into the main menu of the Amazon Shopping app and tap into 'Settings' 
  3. Tap 'AmazonSmile' and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process 

Thank you for thinking of us as you shop Amazon all year round!
Census 2020: Take Action TODAY!
Completing your 2020 Census is easy!

Visit my2020census.gov and complete your form online, or call 844-330-2020.

Your count matters, as funding allocations for community programs are dependent on an accurate count for Henderson County.

Do your part today!