Dec. 17, 2021
"To increase the organized capacity of people to help others."
News & Resources
Christmas Bureau provides help when it's needed the most
Michelle Price didn’t think the bikes headed her way were for her family, but when the Christmas Bureau volunteers stopped next to her car door, she was all smiles.
“My heart exploded,” she said. “We didn’t expect this.”
Michelle and her husband Clifton are the parents of two-and-a-half-year-old triplets.
They were both educators in local schools and were looking forward to having their first baby.
When they found out they were having triplets, Clifton stepped away from work to take care of their children while Michelle stayed on as a teacher.
“It is a phenomenal feeling to know that when push comes to shove there’s somebody here to help,” Clifton said.
And thoughtful, caring help was the story this past Monday and Tuesday during the Catawba County Christmas Bureau.
This year the program reached 679 families, representing 1,781 youth, ages 0-12 which included 412 teens ages 13-18.
The Christmas Bureau is an annual collaborative effort by dozens of local organizations along with hundreds of volunteers who pool their resources to provide toys, clothing, food and coats to children and teenagers during the Christmas season. 
Catawba County United Way Executive Director Mark Bumgarner said it was an honor to be a part of this process. 
“To see it from beginning to end was astounding. The work, dedication and soul that goes into helping families in our county was inspiring,” he said. “For as long as I’ve kicked around this county, I had no idea what all was involved.” 
He encourages all citizens to get involved next year. 
“Make a donation, pick an angel off the trees and then come work with us in helping these families. It’s the best gift I’ve ever received,” Bumgarner said.

Read MORE of this story at THIS LINK.
Click on the photos below to see more from the Christmas Bureau
Conover School teacher is Fair Share Donor car giveaway winner
Meghan Stripling from Conover School is this year’s Catawba County United Way Fair Share Donor Car Giveaway winner, claiming the prize of a new car donated by Paramount Automotive Group in Hickory.  
And like last year, it only took one try.
Stripling was the first finalist on Thursday (Dec. 16) to attempt to start the car at Paramount Automotive, and it fired right up.
“I really didn’t think it was going to start but it just kept going,” Stripling said.
Winning the car was a surprising and joyful moment but knowing her contributions to the United Way every year helps improve the lives of those in need is what’s most important to her.
Stripling is a special education teacher at Conover Schools.
“The money that goes to Adult Life (a United Way funded partner) really helps my students be as independent as possible after they graduate from school,” she said.
Employees of companies participating in this year’s Catawba County United Way campaign who were Fair Share Donors (1 hour pay per month) went into 10 drawings starting in September for a chance at being a finalist to win a new car from Paramount Automotive.
The CCUW Fair Share Car Giveaway tradition was started when Benny Yount, owner of Paramount Automotive, decided he wanted a way to help support the annual Catawba County United Way campaign.
Nick Kincaid, Chief Operating Officer at Paramount Automotive said they are ready to give a car away again next year.
“We just want to give back to Catawba County, our local community and we feel like the United Way touches so many different charities and organizations that help so many people and that’s our main goal, to help others,” Kincaid said.
The Catawba County United Way’s work is focused on the building blocks for a good life: education, income and health. In 2020, local agencies who received funding from the CCUW helped improve the lives of 28,949 people.

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NC 211, help when you need it
NC 211 is the health and human services information line provided by United Way of North Carolina. Catawba County United Way is one of several community partners who help fund this program.
Just dial 2-1-1 for help with food, housing, utility assistance, health care services, senior services, disaster services and more.
Also visit for more help.
For more than 75 years, the Catawba County United Way has been dedicated to increasing the capacity of people to help others. To learn more about the CCUW's mission contact us at 828-327-6851 or visit